Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small or very slender candle.
  • n. A long wax-coated wick used to light candles or gas lamps.
  • n. A source of feeble light.
  • n. A gradual decrease in thickness or width of an elongated object.
  • n. A gradual decrease, as in action or force.
  • intransitive v. To become gradually narrower or thinner toward one end.
  • intransitive v. To diminish or lessen gradually. Often used with off: The storm finally tapered off.
  • transitive v. To make thinner or narrower at one end.
  • transitive v. To make smaller gradually.
  • adj. Gradually decreasing in size toward a point.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A slender wax candle; a small lighted wax candle; hence, a small light.
  • n. A tapering form; gradual diminution of thickness and/or cross section in an elongated object
  • v. To make thinner or narrower at one end.
  • v. To diminish gradually.
  • n. One who operates a tape machine.
  • n. Someone who works with tape or tapes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Regularly narrowed toward the point; becoming small toward one end; conical; pyramidical.
  • n. A small wax candle; a small lighted wax candle; hence, a small light.
  • n. A tapering form; gradual diminution of thickness in an elongated object.
  • intransitive v. To become gradually smaller toward one end.
  • transitive v. To make or cause to taper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Long and becoming slenderer toward the point; becoming small toward one end.
  • Diminished; reduced.
  • To become taper; become gradually slenderer; grow less in diameter; diminish in one direction.
  • To diminish; grow gradually less.
  • To spring up in or as in a tall, tapering form.
  • To stop slowly or by degrees; cease gradually.
  • To cause to taper; make gradually smaller, especially in diameter; cause to diminish toward a point.
  • n. A gradual decrease of power or capacity.
  • n. A candle, especially a very slender candle; any device for giving light by the agency of a wick coated with combustible matter.
  • n. Tapering form; gradual diminution of thickness in an elongated object; that which possesses a tapering form: as, the taper of a spire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. diminish gradually
  • n. a convex shape that narrows toward a point
  • n. stick of wax with a wick in the middle
  • n. a loosely woven cord (in a candle or oil lamp) that draws fuel by capillary action up into the flame
  • n. the property possessed by a shape that narrows toward a point (as a wedge or cone)
  • v. give a point to

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English tapor, possibly ultimately from Latin papyrus, papyrus (sometimes used for candlewicks); see paper.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English tapor ("candle"), apparently from Latin papyrus ("wick of a candle") (Wiktionary)
tape +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

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