1 of 2

noun (1)

ta·​pa ˈtä-pə How to pronounce tapa (audio)
: a coarse cloth made in the Pacific islands from the pounded bark especially of the paper mulberry and usually decorated with geometric patterns


2 of 2

noun (2)

: an hors d'oeuvre served with drinks especially in Spanish bars
usually used in plural

Examples of tapa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
With its hard-to-miss spiral motif at Sixth and College, Cosmos is a study in eclecticism: an airy, open room downstairs with a circular bar, an art gallery, an upstairs cigar lounge and balcony for dining, and a menu that runs from sushi to tapas. Melissa Oyler, Charlotte Observer, 13 Feb. 2024 An upscale rum bar concept with a tapas menu that takes local dishes and gives them a new spin is also expanding to more resorts. Ramsey Qubein, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 To soak up all that booze is a tidy tapas menu, with items starting at just $5. Madeleine Marr, Miami Herald, 24 Jan. 2024 Bar Santos is a classic line-up-and-know-what-to-order tapas bar that attracts crowds for its Spanish tortilla, a thick potato omelet. Andrew Ferren, New York Times, 21 Dec. 2023 Tucked into a cliffside and hovering just over the waves, the restaurant complements the stunning scenery with refined but relaxed tapas menus courtesy Tomlin and rising star chef Cameron Smith. Sarah Khan, Robb Report, 12 Dec. 2023 This tapas and craft cocktail lounge offers a handsome dining (and date-night) experience, with upscale fare like charcuterie, American wagyu tartare and ricotta gnocchi. Katie Toussaint, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Hard and fibrous, this portions is typically cut into cubes for tapas or stew. Bonnie Berkowitz, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2024 After checking out the vibrant downtown scene, couples can treat themselves to an indulgent massage or facial at the luxurious Spa St. James at The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal, or enjoy cocktails and tapas at the W Montreal's Living Room. Megan Murphy, Travel + Leisure, 18 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tapa.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Marquesan & Tahitian

Noun (2)

Spanish, literally, cover, lid, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old English tæppa tap

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1817, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tapa was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near tapa

Cite this Entry

“Tapa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tapa. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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