a. A continuous narrow, flexible strip of cloth, metal, paper, or plastic, such as adhesive tape, magnetic tape, or ticker tape.
b. A narrow strip of strong woven fabric, as that used in sewing or bookbinding.
c. A string stretched across the finish line of a racetrack to be broken by the winner.
a. A length, reel, or cassette of magnetic tape.
b. A recording made on magnetic tape.
3. A tape measure.
v. taped, tap·ing, tapes
1. To fasten, secure, strengthen, or wrap with a tape: taped the box so that it wouldn't fall apart.
2. To record (sounds or pictures) on magnetic tape or other electronic storage medium: The reporter taped the interview.
3. To measure with a tape measure.
To make a recording on magnetic tape or other electronic storage medium.
[Middle English, strip of cloth, from Old English *tæppe or *tæppa (attested only in the plural tæppan).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.