Tape is a sticky strip of material you can use for fastening paper or other light objects. You can use a piece of tape to tape a "Keep Out" sign to your bedroom door.

A long strip marked with inches or centimeters is a measuring tape, and this is actually the earliest meaning of the word tape. It evolved to be used for many narrow strips, like the tape a marathon runner breaks through at the finish line, the crime scene tape that police use to mark off an area, or the tape you use for recording sound or video.

Definitions of tape
  1. noun
    a long thin piece of cloth or paper as used for binding or fastening
    “he used a piece of tape for a belt”
    “he wrapped a tape around the package”
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    adhesive tape
    tape coated with adhesive
    a linen tape used for trimming as a decoration
    a narrow closely woven tape; used in upholstery or for seat belts
    Scotch tape, Sellotape, cellulose tape
    transparent or semitransparent adhesive tape (trade names Scotch tape and Sellotape) used for sealing or attaching or mending
    duct tape
    a wide silvery adhesive tape intended to seal joints in sheet metal duct work but having many other uses
    friction tape, insulating tape
    a water-resistant adhesive tape used to insulate exposed electrical conductors
    masking paper, masking tape
    adhesive tape used to cover the part of a surface that should not be painted
    adhesive plaster, plaster, sticking plaster
    adhesive tape used in dressing wounds
    type of:
    slip, strip
    artifact consisting of a narrow flat piece of material
  2. noun
    the finishing line for a foot race
    “he broke the tape in record time”
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    type of:
    finish line, finishing line
    a line indicating the location of the finish of a race
  3. noun
    measuring instrument consisting of a narrow strip (cloth or metal) marked in inches or centimeters and used for measuring lengths
    “the carpenter should have used his tape measure”
    synonyms: tape measure, tapeline
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    type of:
    measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system
    instrument that shows the extent or amount or quantity or degree of something
  4. verb
    fasten or attach with tape
    tape the shipping label to the box”
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    scotch tape, sellotape
    fasten or attach with sellotape
    type of:
    cause to be attached
  5. noun
    memory device consisting of a long thin plastic strip coated with iron oxide; used to record audio or video signals or to store computer information
    “he took along a dozen tapes to record the interview”
    synonyms: mag tape, magnetic tape
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    magnetic tape for use in recording sound
    cassette tape
    a cassette that contains magnetic tape
    magnetic stripe
    a short strip of magnetic tape attached to a credit card or debit card; it contains data that will tell a reading device who you are and what your account number is, etc.
    a relatively wide magnetic tape for use in recording visual images and associated sound
    type of:
    memory device, storage device
    a device that preserves information for retrieval
  6. noun
    a recording made on magnetic tape
    “the several recordings were combined on a master tape
    synonyms: tape recording, taping
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    a tape recording of sound
    a video recording made on magnetic tape
    DAT, digital audiotape
    a digital tape recording of sound
    type of:
    a storage device on which information (sounds or images) have been recorded
  7. verb
    record on videotape
    synonyms: videotape
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    type of:
    enter, put down, record
    make a record of; set down in permanent form
  8. verb
    register electronically
    synonyms: record
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    delete, erase
    wipe out digitally or magnetically recorded information
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    save, write
    record data on a computer
    tape record
    record with a tape recorder
    record before presentation, as of a broadcast
    record a performance on (a medium)
    make a recording of
    write new data on top of existing data and thus erase the previously existing data
    type of:
    enter, put down, record
    make a record of; set down in permanent form
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