Definitions for napkinˈnæp kɪn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word napkin

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

nap•kinˈnæp kɪn(n.)

  1. a small piece of cloth or paper, usu. square, for use in wiping the lips and fingers and to protect the clothes while eating.

  2. Ref: sanitary napkin.

  3. Chiefly Brit.

    Category: British

    Ref: diaper .

  4. Scot. and North Eng.

    Category: Scottish

    Ref: handkerchief .

  5. Scot.

    Category: Scottish

    Ref: kerchief.

Origin of napkin:

1350–1400; ME, =nape tablecloth (< MF nappe < L mappa napkin) + -kin -kin ; cf. map

Princeton's WordNet

  1. napkin, table napkin, serviette(noun)

    a small piece of table linen that is used to wipe the mouth and to cover the lap in order to protect clothing

  2. diaper, nappy, napkin(noun)

    garment consisting of a folded cloth drawn up between the legs and fastened at the waist; worn by infants to catch excrement

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. napkin(noun)ˈnæp kɪn

    a piece of cloth or paper for wiping food from your face or hands during a meal

    a paper napkin


  1. napkin(Noun)

    A serviette; a (usually rectangular) piece of cloth or paper used at the table for wiping the mouth and hands for cleanliness while eating.

  2. napkin(Noun)

    A nappy (UK), a diaper (American).

  3. napkin(Noun)

    A small scarf worn on the head by Christian woman when entering a Roman Catholic church, as a token of modesty.

  4. napkin(Noun)

    A sanitary napkin.

  5. Origin: From napkyn, equivalent to .

Webster Dictionary

  1. Napkin(noun)

    a little towel, or small cloth, esp. one for wiping the fingers and mouth at table

  2. Napkin(noun)

    a handkerchief


  1. Napkin

    A napkin, or face towel is a rectangle of cloth used at the table for wiping the mouth and fingers while eating. It is usually small and folded, sometimes in intricate designs and shapes. The word comes from Middle English, borrowing the French nappe—a cloth covering for a table—and adding -kin, the diminutive suffix. In the United Kingdom and Canada both terms, serviette and napkin, are used. In the UK, napkins are traditionally U and serviette non-U. In certain places, serviettes are those made of paper whereas napkins are made of cloth. The word serviette in lieu of the term napkin is not typically used in American English, though, as discussed is not unheard of in Canadian English and Canadian French. In Australia, 'serviette' generally refers to the paper variety and 'napkin' refers to the cloth variety. Conventionally, the napkin is often folded and placed to the left of the place setting, outside the outermost fork. In an ambitious restaurant setting or a caterer's hall, it may be folded into more or less elaborate shapes and displayed on the empty plate. Origami techniques can be used to create a 3D design e.g. a crane. A napkin may also be held together in a bundle by a napkin ring. Alternatively, paper napkins may be contained with a napkin holder.

Translations for napkin

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


(also table napkin ) a small piece of cloth or paper for protecting the clothes from drips etc and for wiping the lips at meals.

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