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[bon-it] /ˈbɒn ɪt/
a hat, usually tying under the chin and often framing the face, formerly much worn by women but now worn mostly by children.
Informal. any hat worn by women.
Chiefly Scot. a man's or boy's cap.
a bonnetlike headdress:
an Indian war bonnet.
any of various hoods, covers, or protective devices.
a cowl, hood, or wind cap for a fireplace or chimney, to stabilize the draft.
the part of a valve casing through which the stem passes and that forms a guide and seal for the stem.
a chamber at the top of a hot-air furnace from which the leaders emerge.
Chiefly British. an automobile hood.
Nautical. a supplementary piece of canvas laced to the foot of a fore-and-aft sail, especially a jib, in light winds.
verb (used with object)
to put a bonnet on.
Origin of bonnet
1375-1425; late Middle English bonet < Middle French; Old French bonet material from which hats are made, perhaps < Old Low Franconian *bunni something bound (< Germanic *bund-, noun derivative of *bind- bind; cf. bundle), with -et -et; compare Late Latin abonnis, obbonis ribbon forming part of a headdress < Germanic, with a prefix corresponding to Middle High German obe- above
Related forms
bonnetless, adjective
bonnetlike, adjective


[baw-ne] /bɔˈnɛ/
[zhawrzh] /ʒɔrʒ/ (Show IPA),
1889–1973, French statesman. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bonnet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Roberts recognized the bonnet and cape with a smile of satisfaction.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Remember, Dirk had never but twice seen his sister in a bonnet.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • An' she 'lowed she didn't want no bonnet, but would like to change her pinny.

  • Her shawl was dragged to one side, and her bonnet sat rakishly.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Only to my own room, to put on my bonnet; the carriage will be here in a few minutes.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for bonnet


any of various hats worn, esp formerly, by women and girls, usually framing the face and tied with ribbons under the chin
Also called (in Scotland) bunnet (ˈbʌnɪt)
  1. a soft cloth cap
  2. formerly, a flat brimless cap worn by men
the hinged metal part of a motor vehicle body that provides access to the engine, or to the luggage space in a rear-engined vehicle
a cowl on a chimney
(nautical) a piece of sail laced to the foot of a foresail to give it greater area in light winds
(in the US and Canada) a headdress of feathers worn by some tribes of American Indians, esp formerly as a sign of war
Word Origin
C14: from Old French bonet, from Medieval Latin abonnis, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bonnet

late 14c., Scottish bonat "brimless hat for men," from Old French bonet, short for chapel de bonet, from bonet (12c., Modern French bonnet) "kind of cloth used as a headdress," from Medieval Latin bonitum "material for hats," perhaps a shortening of Late Latin abonnis "a kind of cap" (7c.), which is perhaps from a Germanic source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bonnet in Science
Swiss naturalist who discovered parthenogenesis when he observed that aphid eggs could develop without fertilization. Bonnet was also one of the first scientists to study photosynthesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for bonnet


Related Terms

bee in one's bonnet

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with bonnet


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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