Definition of tarpaulin
1 : a piece of material (such as durable plastic) used for protecting exposed objects or areas
2 : sailor
Recent Examples of tarpaulin from the Web
A closer look shows this is a city under threat -- tarpaulins along streets hide the movements of fighters from surveillance drones and sandbags outside buildings might offer some protection from a blast from the sky or ground.
Some boys lived in two dozen tarpaulin tents in the bush, others in entire occupied towns, like Malam Fatori.
Gathered under tarpaulins baking in the sun, the women counsel one another and learn skills such as how to build a kitchen stove from clay.
The full list of items also includes tarpaulins, tie-down kits and ground anchor systems.
A thatched roof and mud walls hide the original white UNHCR tarpaulin.
People pass by a 500 Euro bill that is posted on a tarpaulin outside a money changer in Manila, Philippines Thursday, May 18, 2017.
The road there led west through a palimpsest of onetime front lines to an army encampment, where four domed tents, their tarpaulin covers tattered and torn by the wind, had been erected for receiving refugees.
Amid it all, countless ragged tarpaulin tents house grim-faced migrants, who are tended to by dozens of earnest European volunteers, distinguished by exotic body piercings and dreadlocks.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tarpaulin'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of tarpaulin
probably from 1tar + -palling, -pauling (from pall)
First Known Use: 1605See Words from the same year
TARPAULIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tarpaulin for English Language Learners
: a large piece of waterproof material (such as plastic or canvas) that is used to cover things and keep them dry
TARPAULIN Defined for Kids
Definition of tarpaulin for Students
: a sheet of waterproof canvas
Seen and Heard
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