What does napkin mean?

Definitions for napkin
ˈnæp kɪnnap·kin

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word napkin.

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


  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.

    Etymology: From napkyn, equivalent to .

  2. napkin(Noun)

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

    Etymology: From napkyn, equivalent to .

  3. napkin(Noun)

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

    Etymology: From napkyn, equivalent to .

  4. napkin(Noun)

    A sanitary napkin.

    Etymology: 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

    Etymology: [Dim. of OF. nape a tablecloth, cloth, F. nappe, L. mappa. See Napery.]

  2. Napkin(noun)

    a handkerchief

    Etymology: [Dim. of OF. nape a tablecloth, cloth, F. nappe, L. mappa. See Napery.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Napkin

    nap′kin, n. a cloth for wiping the hands: a handkerchief.—n. Nap′kin-ring, a ring in which a table-napkin is rolled. [Dim. of Fr. nappe.]

Editors Contribution

  1. napkin

    A type of product created and designed in various colors, fabric, materials, shapes, sizes and styles.

    A napkin can be made from tissue paper or a type of fabric depending on the type of restaurant, takeaway or household.

    Submitted by MaryC on October 27, 2016  

How to pronounce napkin?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say napkin in sign language?

  1. napkin


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of napkin in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of napkin in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of napkin in a Sentence

  1. Linden Ellis:

    Our brand ethos is that there shouldn't be any pressure to get the details exactly right, by removing the stress of decorating and shopping, it's our hope that people will be able to focus more on celebrating with their friends and loved ones -- as opposed to stressing over their napkin choices. We see spills, smudges, and imperfections as a mark of a party well thrown and well enjoyed.

  2. Unknown:

    Socrates seems to be the philosophical napkin with which the ensuing cultural thinkers of history wipe their mouths of pedantic ooze.

  3. Bill Clinton:

    The fundamental problem you have anywhere is when people think their lives and the lives of their children don't matter, they they are somehow disposable, just like a paper napkin after a lunch at a restaurant or something, if we want our freedom to be in deed as well as word in America, we have to make people feel that everybody matters again.

Images & Illustrations of napkin

  1. napkinnapkinnapkinnapkinnapkin

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for napkin

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for napkin »


Find a translation for the napkin definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these napkin definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "napkin." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/napkin>.

    Are we missing a good definition for napkin? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    the act of catching an object with the hands
    • A. abandon
    • B. snap
    • C. secession
    • D. reciprocal

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for napkin:


    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.