Etymology
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tape (n.)

Old English tæppe "narrow strip of cloth used for tying, measuring, etc.," of uncertain origin; perhaps [Klein] a back-formation from Latin tapete "cloth, carpet," compare also Old Frisian tapia, Middle Low German tapen "to pull, pluck, tear." The original short vowel became long in Middle English.

Adhesive tape is from 1885; also in early use sometimes friction tape. Tape recorder "device for recording sound on magnetic tape" first attested 1932; from earlier meaning "device for recording data on ticker tape" (1892), from tape in the sense of "paper strip of a printer" (1884). Tape-record (v.) is from 1950. Tape-measure is attested from 1873; tape-delay is from 1968.

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tape (v.)

c. 1600, "furnish with tape," from tape (n.). Meaning "attach with adhesive tape" is from 1932; meaning "to make a tape recording" is from 1950. Related: Taped; taping.

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tapenade (n.)

Provençal dish made of black olives, etc., 1952, from French tapénade, from Provençal tapéno "capers."

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taper (v.)

1580s, "shoot up like a flame or spire," via an obsolete adjective taper, from taper (n.), on the notion of the converging form of the flame of a candle. Sense of "become slender, gradually grow less in size, force, etc." first recorded c. 1600. Transitive sense from 1670s. Related: Tapered; tapering.

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taper (n.)

Old English tapur, taper "candle, lamp-wick," not found outside English, possibly a borrowing and dissimilation of Latin papyrus (see papyrus), which was used in Medieval Latin and some Romance languages for "wick of a candle" (such as Old Italian dialectal (Tuscany) papijo, papeio"wick"), because these often were made from the pith of papyrus. Compare also German kerze "candle," from Old High German charza, from Latin charta, from Greek khartēs "papyrus, roll made from papyrus, wick made from pith of papyrus."

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tapestry (n.)

"a fabric on which colored threads of wool, silk, gold, or silver are fixed to produce a pattern," late 14c., tapiestre, with unetymological -t-, from Old French tapisserie "tapestry" (14c.), from tapisser "to cover with heavy fabric," from tapis "heavy fabric, carpet," from tapiz "carpet, floor covering" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tappetium, from Byzantine Greek tapetion, from classical Greek, diminutive of tapes (genitive tapetos) "heavy fabric, carpet, rug," from an Iranian source (compare Persian taftan "to turn, twist"), from PIE *temp- "to stretch." The figurative use is first recorded 1580s.

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tapetum (n.)

of the eye, 1713, from Medieval Latin tapetum, from Latin tapete, collateral form of tapes "carpet, heavy cloth with inwrought figures" (see tapestry).

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tapeworm (n.)

1705, from tape (n.) + worm (n.); so called for its ribbon-like shape.

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taphonomy (n.)

"study of the means by which the remains of living beings become fossils," 1940, with -nomy

+ Greek taphos "tomb, burial, funeral," which is of uncertain origin. It is traditionally derived (along with Armenian damban "tomb") from a PIE root *dhembh- "to dig, bury," but there are doubts, and Beekes writes, "Armenian and Greek could well be borrowings; IE origin is uncertain." Related: Taphonomic.

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taphouse (n.)

also tap-house, c. 1500, from tap (n.1) + house (n.).

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