1. a long, narrow strip of linen, cotton, or the like, used for tying garments, binding seams or carpets, etc.
  2. a long, narrow strip of paper, metal, etc.
  3. a strip of cloth, paper, or plastic with an adhesive surface, used for sealing, binding, or attaching items together; adhesive tape or masking tape.
  4. tape measure.
  5. a string stretched across the finishing line in a race and broken by the winning contestant on crossing the line.
  6. ticker tape.
  7. magnetic tape.
  8. a magnetic tape carrying prerecorded sound: a tape of a rock concert.

verb (used with object), taped, tap·ing.

  1. to furnish with a tape or tapes.
  2. to tie up, bind, or attach with tape.
  3. to measure with or as if with a tape measure.
  4. to record or prerecord on magnetic tape.

verb (used without object), taped, tap·ing.

  1. to record something on magnetic tape.


  1. a long thin strip, made of cotton, linen, etc, used for binding, fastening, etc
  2. any long narrow strip of cellulose, paper, metal, etc, having similar uses
  3. a string stretched across the track at the end of a race course
  4. military slang, mainly British another word for stripe 1 (def. 3)
  5. See magnetic tape, ticker tape, paper tape, tape recording

verb (mainly tr)

  1. Also: tape-record (also intr) to record (speech, music, etc)
  2. to furnish with tapes
  3. to bind, measure, secure, or wrap with tape
  4. (usually passive) British informal to take stock of (a person or situation); sum uphe’s got the job taped

n.Old English tæppe “narrow strip of cloth used for tying, measuring, etc.,” of uncertain origin, perhaps a back-formation from Latin tapete “carpet.” The original short vowel became long in Middle English. 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-measure is attested from 1873; tape-delay is from 1968. v.c.1600, from tape (n.); meaning “to make a tape recording” is from 1950. Related: Taped; taping. see red tape.

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