Definition of tape in English:

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Pronunciation: /tāp/


1A narrow strip of material, typically used to hold or fasten something: a roll of tape a dirty apron fastened with thin tapes
More example sentences
  • Fasten it there with tape, and then watch it day after day.
  • Indoors, you may need some tape or thumbtacks to fasten your background to a wall.
  • The petals were then placed carefully in their original position, and the calyx was closed and held in place with a narrow strip of cellophane tape.
binding, ribbon, string, braid
1.1 [often with modifier] Long narrow flexible material with magnetic properties, used for recording sound, pictures, or computer data.
Example sentences
  • No, it was just an audition that I did on tape and the tape got sent away.
  • This process functions much like early computers that used data tape to give yes or no responses.
  • From the 1950s until the end of the 1990s radio programmes were stored on large reels of tape which were kept in bulky boxes.
1.2A cassette or reel containing recorded material.
Example sentences
  • A mini-DV cassette is of similar dimensions to an audio cassette and about half the size, with tapes priced from around $10 each.
  • So I meticulously took spare batteries, spare film for the camera and spare tapes for the mini tape recorder.
  • We bought records, tapes and later CDs to amass a song collection the old-fashioned way.
audiocassette/videocassette, (a) reel, (a) spool;
1.3A recording on a cassette or reel.
Example sentences
  • ‘We went to the radio and recorded a tape,’ says Shabalala.
  • Most of the time I would listen to the radio rather than tapes.
  • The talking tapes were first produced in the area seven years ago.
1.4 (also adhesive tape) A strip of paper or plastic coated with adhesive, used to stick things together.
Example sentences
  • For those not familiar with the TUFO tape, it is double-sided tape with a plastic strip covering each sticky side.
  • Five leaves per plant were removed from the first and second whorls and carefully stuck to filter paper with a small strip of double-sided adhesive tape.
  • Fix two strips of double sided tape lengthwise on the back of the black card.
trademark Scotch Tape
1.5A strip of material stretched across the finish line of a race, to be broken by the winner.
Example sentences
  • As the race nears the tape they are both on their feet, hollering.
  • In three ‘A’ Finals I have finished fourth, fallen off twice and touched the tapes in a semi-final.
  • Safety measures were taken during the protest with a cordon put around the children, in the shape of a ribbon which had been used during the school's sports day as a finishing tape.
1.6A strip of white material at the top of a tennis net.
Example sentences
  • When you are finished adjusting the net's tension, there should be no room between the net tape and the securing post.
  • A shot by Serena slapped the net tape and went over, Venus got to the ball and responded with a drop shot that Serena whipped for a backhand passing winner down the line.
1.7A strip of material used to mark off an area.
Example sentences
  • I could see the yellow police tape inside marking out the space where the jumper had landed, somewhere near the middle of the lobby.
  • Slowly, they gathered at a boundary line marked with yellow tape.
  • Forensic teams sealed off the area with tape and scoured the street for clues as uniformed officers carried out door-to-door inquiries.
1.8A tape measure.
Example sentences
  • Measure the distance with a tape.
  • The joint is next measured with a tape, snugly passing round the foot.
  • Using the clinometer, the spot on the trunk that is at eye level is identified and the distance from the eye to the level point on the trunk is measured with a tape or laser rangefinder.


[with object]
1Record (sound or pictures) on audio or videotape: it is not known who taped the conversation
More example sentences
  • Also taken was a DVD recorder, which tapes the ultra sound scan.
  • There's a half decent line up on the TV tomorrow night, with so much on we're going to have to dust the cobwebs off the video recorder to tape Doctor Who.
  • We went out to dine last night, so I set the video to tape Maria Callas: Living and Dying for Art and Love.
2Fasten or attach (something) with adhesive tape.
Example sentences
  • Hurrying back inside, he wrote his phone number on a sticky note and taped it to the fridge.
  • We are waiting for the guys to come and finish off the room: taping the joints and sealing the plasterboard.
  • When we were first married, I would tape them to the fridge door on scraps torn out of a spiral bound notebook.
bind, stick, fix, fasten, secure, attach;
3 (tape something off) Seal or mark off an area or thing with tape.
Example sentences
  • I went out later and saw that the area had been taped off by police.
  • Police taped the road off while a forensic team was brought in and a cordon remained in place until Friday morning.
  • Unplug the drier, open up the console area, disconnect the wires to the buzzer, and tape them off.
cordon (off), seal (off), close (off), shut (off), mark (off), fence (off);
isolate, segregate


on tape

Recorded on magnetic tape.
Example sentences
  • For example, a patient may be asked to record their worst fears on tape and listen to them repeatedly until their effect is lessened.
  • Funnier still it's all on tape as we were recording the rehearsal.
  • We later find out that nothing but our own voices are recorded on tape.


Old English tæppa, tæppe; perhaps related to Middle Low German teppen 'pluck, tear'.

Words that rhyme with tape

agape, ape, cape, chape, crape, crêpe, drape, escape, gape, grape, jape, misshape, nape, rape, scrape, shape ticker

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tape

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