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



tarpaulin ‎(plural tarpaulins)

  1. (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.
  2. (countable, slang, archaic) A sailor. Often abbreviated to just 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 notes[edit]

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

Derived terms[edit]


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 Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Google Books Ngram Viewer

External links[edit]