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From tar + pall (heavy canvas) + -ing.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /tɑˈpɔː.lɪn/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɑːɹpəlɪn/, /tɑɹˈpɔ.lɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔːlɪn


tarpaulin (countable and uncountable, plural tarpaulins)

  1. (countable) A tarp, a heavy, waterproof sheet of material, often cloth, used as a cover or blanket.
    Throw a tarpaulin over that woodpile before it gets wet.
  2. (countable, slang, archaic) A sailor (often abbreviated to tar)
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) Any heavy, waterproof material used as a cover.
  4. (uncountable, nautical, obsolete) Canvas waterproofed with tar, used as a cover.
  5. A hat made of, or covered with, painted or tarred cloth, worn by sailors and others.

Usage notesEdit

  • In the US, tarp has been more common than tarpaulin in print since about 1990.[1] In speech since at least 1970.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit