taper off

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taper off

1. To become thinner or narrower, especially at a gradual degree. The giant wall went on for miles, eventually tapering off into a small strip of stones deep in the countryside. By tapering off to such a fine point, the needle is able to puncture the skin without causing much pain.
2. To cause something to become thinner or narrower, as by grinding or whittling its surface. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "taper" and "off." We'll have to taper off one end of the replacement rod to get it to fit into the machinery.
3. To weaken, lessen, or diminish gradually. The storm is expected to taper off later in the afternoon. You're going to feel very groggy at first, but the effects should taper off after a couple of days.
4. To gradually reduce the amount of something one ingests or some activity in which one partakes with the aim of stopping entirely. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "taper" and "off." I was on a lot of medication following the surgery, but I'm finally starting to taper that off. Going cold turkey didn't work for me, so I'm going to try tapering off my smoking instead.
See also: off

taper off (doing something)

gradually to stop doing something; to do less and less of something until there is no more to do. Bob tried to taper off smoking again. I can't taper off overeating. I have to stop all at once by going on a strict diet.
See also: off

taper off

1. Become thinner or narrower at one end, as in The road began to taper off until it was just a narrow path. [c. 1600]
2. Diminish or lessen gradually, end by degrees, as in The storm finally tapered off. [Mid-1800s]
See also: off

taper off

v.
1. To narrow, diminish, or lessen gradually: The rod tapers off to a point at one end. The rain finally tapered off, and we went back outside.
2. To cause something to narrow, diminish, or lessen gradually: I tapered off the end of a stick and drove it into the ground. The doctor tapered the medication off as the patient recovered.
3. To gradually reduce someone's medication: After my symptoms disappeared, the doctor tapered me off the medication.
See also: off
References in periodicals archive ?
If the density increase also tapers off at shorter wavelengths, then researchers may truly be viewing an important, early epoch in galaxy evolution, he says.
Many scientists believe the sex hormone estrogen helps women ward off heart disease until menopause, when the production of estrogen tapers off and heart attack rates go up.
Last year, British researchers reported a similar finding and speculated that women who undergo breast surgery during the luteal phase may fare better because the production of estrogen tapers off then (SN: 6/8/91, p.
Although his experiments are not yet complete, he has found that when undernourished rats are supplied thyroid hormones to make up for their deficiencies, the life-extension benefit of underfeeding tapers off.
At that point, the rate of glucose metabolism tapers off and stabilizes at adult levels during the teens.