tarpaulin (plural tarpaulins)
- (countable) A tarp, a heavy, waterproof sheet of material, often cloth, used as a cover.
- Throw a tarpaulin over that woodpile before it gets wet.
- (countable, slang, archaic) A sailor. Often abbreviated to just tar.
- (uncountable, obsolete) Any heavy, waterproof material used as a cover.
- (uncountable, nautical, obsolete) Canvas waterproofed with tar, used as a cover.
- A hat made of, or covered with, painted or tarred cloth, worn by sailors and others.
- In the US, "tarp" has been more common than "tarpaulin" in print since about 1990. In speech since at least 1970.
heavy, waterproof sheet of material
any heavy, waterproof material used as a cover
canvas waterproofed with tar, used as a cover
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