Definition of taper in English:


Line breaks: taper
Pronunciation: /ˈteɪpə



Back to top  
  • 1A slender candle: he lit the tapers in the silver candelabra
    More example sentences
    • Many people may feel that formal candles, such as tapers, are commonplace necessities for a sophisticated dinner party.
    • Inside the wreath, place a large candle or several tapers.
    • Five ancient and rust spotted iron candelabras held six lit, midway burned taper candles in black.
  • 1.1A wick coated with wax, used for conveying a flame.
    More example sentences
    • While she was gone a menial came by to light the ceiling lamps, a touch with a burning taper on the end of a pole and the gas wicks glowed to life.
    • The food's good too, of course, especially the mince pies and the pudding, but doesn't it all taste so much better when you turn down the lights and put a taper to the candles?
    • "Ok," He shrugged, handing me a taper to light one of the little candles with.
  • 2A gradual narrowing: the strong taper of her back [mass noun]: a small degree of taper
    More example sentences
    • The micropipette was pulled manually to a gradual taper to ease insertion into the tissue.
    • Minimal hand-carving blended the narrow taper of the leg into the foot turning and created the semblance of a carved cabriole leg at low cost.
    • Visual observation suggested the presence of a strong taper in most of the studied taproots.


Old English (denoting any wax candle), dissimilated form (by alteration of p- to t-) of Latin papyrus (see papyrus), the pith of which was used for candle wicks.

More definitions of taper

Definition of taper in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody