ticker tape


Definition of ticker tape

: the paper ribbon on which a telegraphic ticker prints off its information

Examples of ticker tape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The big, huge, ticker tape news of the Fall 2019 menswear season is that for the for the first time in the history of runway fashion, the men’s shows finally rival the womenswear ones in terms of excitement, innovation, and artistry. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Fall 2019 Men’s Trend Report," 25 Jan. 2019 Argentina - 1978 The tournament famous for it's ticker tape littered pitches, the atmosphere created by La Albiceleste's fans played a huge part in their nation's World Cup win. SI.com, "6 Teams Who Have Been Dragged Over the Finishing Line by Their World Cup Fans," 31 May 2018 The annual dog and pony show that is the TV upfronts kicks off on Monday, but among the ticker tape cannons and smoke machines, this year’s bonanza also looks set to be shrouded in a cloud of confusion. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "CMO Today: Uncertainty Ahead Of the Upfronts; Fox Earnings; Beer Sales Slump," 10 May 2018 Blue-and-white ticker tape flew up and fireworks exploded as Manchester City's players finally got their hands on the Premier League trophy on Sunday. Steve Douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Manchester City held to scoreless draw by Huddersfield in title celebration," 6 May 2018 Harrelson mused, the snow already coming down like ticker tape. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Hawk Harrelson and TV crew gave White Sox fans a warmer alternative for home opener," 6 Apr. 2018 Under a cascade of ticker tape, my older brother howled a joyous caterwaul. Mike Newall, Philly.com, "Nine weeks ago I learned who Carson Wentz is. Now I'm off to the Super Bowl | Mike Newall," 30 Jan. 2018 And yet, in South Carolina, folks aren’t exactly planning ticker tape parades. David Caraviello, ajc, "How Will Muschamp is already entering elite company in South Carolina’s history books," 19 Nov. 2017 And now the ticker tape and uh ... other confetti and such is beginning to flow from the windows and the crowd at our point is surging forward. Bob Schieffer, CBS News, "The assassination of JFK: As it happened," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ticker tape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ticker tape

1895, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ticker tape

Statistics for ticker tape

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ticker tape

The first known use of ticker tape was in 1895

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ticker tape

ticker tape


Financial Definition of ticker tape

What It Is

Ticker tape was the paper strip used to transmit stock prices before the use of computers.

How It Works

A typical ticker tape quote has five components: the ticker symbol, shares traded, price, change direction, and change in price. This format is largely unchanged today.

The first ticker tape came about around 1867 with the advent of the telegraph. Prices and volumes after every trade appeared from the machine on a long, thin strip of paper, and there was a long delay that got shorter (around 15-20 minutes) as the technology improved by the 1940s and 1950s. Throughout the trading day, new quotes streamed through on the ticker tape.

One of the most interesting effects of ticker tape, aside from the relatively faster information dissemination, was the response of the brokers. To keep a constant eye on stock prices, many brokers who did business on the New York Stock Exchange set up offices near the exchange just so they could get a steady supply of tape from messengers who ran back and forth from the trading floor. Before 2001, stock prices were quoted in fractions (i.e. 20 1/8) instead of decimals (20.125).

Why It Matters

Whether the name came from the sound the machine made while printing stock prices or from the notion that a movement up or down in price is called a tick, ticker tape is still the colloquial term for a stream of stock prices, including volume. Actual ticker tape gave way long ago to electronic reporting, but today it still stands as symbol of American capitalism (and it's handy for parades, too).

Source: Investing Answers

ticker tape


English Language Learners Definition of ticker tape

: long, thin pieces of paper on which news and stock prices are printed by a special machine (called a ticker)

More from Merriam-Webster on ticker tape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ticker tape

Comments on ticker tape

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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