noun Etymology: Middle English nappekin, from nape tablecloth, from Anglo-French, from Latin mappa napkin Date: 14th century 1. a piece of material (as cloth or paper) used at table to wipe the lips or fingers and protect the clothes 2. a small cloth or towel: as a. dialect British handkerchief b. chiefly Scottish kerchief c. chiefly British diaper 3 3. sanitary napkin

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Napkin — Nap kin, n. [Dim. of OF. nape a tablecloth, cloth, F. nappe, L. mappa. See {Napery}.] 1. A little towel, made of cloth or paper, esp. one for wiping the fingers and mouth at table. [1913 Webster] 2. A handkerchief. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • napkin — [nap′kin] n. [ME nappekyn, dim. < OFr nappe, cloth, tablecloth < L mappa: see MAP] 1. a small piece of cloth or paper, usually square, used while eating for protecting the clothes and wiping the fingers or lips 2. any small cloth, towel,… …   English World dictionary

  • napkin — (n.) early 15c., from O.Fr. nape tablecloth, cloth cover, towel (from L. mappa; see MAP (Cf. map) (n.)) + Middle English KIN (Cf. kin) little. No longer felt as a diminutive. The Old French diminutive was naperon (see APRON (Cf. apron)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • napkin — is preferred by Fowler (1926), Nancy Mitford, and others to serviette, which they judged to be a genteelism or ‘non U’ …   Modern English usage

  • napkin — [n] linen cloth, doily, moist towelette, serviette, towel, wipe; concept 473 …   New thesaurus

  • napkin — ► NOUN 1) a square piece of cloth or paper used at a meal to wipe the fingers or lips and to protect garments. 2) Brit. dated a baby s nappy. ORIGIN from Old French nappe tablecloth + KIN(Cf. ↑ kin) …   English terms dictionary

  • Napkin — For other uses, see Napkin (disambiguation). Folded napkin A napkin, or face towel (also in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia: serviette) is a rectangle of cloth used at the table for wiping the mouth while eating. It is usually small and… …   Wikipedia

  • napkin — n. 1) to fold a napkin 2) to tuck a napkin (under one s chin) 3) a cocktail; dinner; linen; paper napkin * * * [ næpkɪn] dinner linen paper napkin a cocktail to fold a napkin to tuck a napkin (under one s chin) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • napkin — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ folded ▪ table ▪ She dabbed her mouth with her table napkin. ▪ cloth (esp. AmE), linen, paper ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • napkin — n. 1 (in full table napkin) a square piece of linen, paper, etc. used for wiping the lips, fingers, etc. at meals, or serving fish etc. on; a serviette. 2 Brit. a baby s nappy. 3 a small towel. Phrases and idioms: napkin ring a ring used to hold… …   Useful english dictionary

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