mid-15c., variant of tapissery (early 15c.), from M.Fr. tapisserie "tapestry" (14c.), from tapisser "to cover with heavy fabric," from tapis "heavy fabric," from O.Fr. tapiz (12c.), from V.L. *tappetium, from Byzantine Gk. tapetion, from classical Gk., dim. of tapes (gen. tapetos) "tapestry, heavy fabric," probably from an Iranian source (cf. Pers. taftan, tabidan "to turn, twist"). The figurative use is first recorded 1580s.