tarpaulin

noun tar·pau·lin \ tär-ˈpȯ-lən , ˈtär-pə- ; nonstandard tär-ˈpōl-yən \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

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

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)


TARPAULIN Defined for English Language Learners

tarpaulin

noun

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

tarpaulin

noun tar·pau·lin \ tär-ˈpȯ-lən , ˈtär-pə-lən \

Definition of tarpaulin for Students

:a sheet of waterproof canvas


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tarpaulin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!