[dahy-per, dahy-uh-per]


a piece of cloth or other absorbent material folded and worn as underpants by a baby not yet toilet-trained.
Also called diaper cloth. a linen or cotton fabric with a woven pattern of small, constantly repeated figures, as diamonds.
Also called diaper pattern. such a pattern, originally used in the Middle Ages in weaving silk and gold.

verb (used with object)

to put a diaper on.
to ornament with a diaperlike pattern.

Nearby words

  1. diapason,
  2. diapason normal pitch,
  3. diapause,
  4. diapedesis,
  5. diapente,
  6. diaper dermatitis,
  7. diaper rash,
  8. diaphaneity,
  9. diaphanometer,
  10. diaphanoscope

Origin of diaper

1300–50; Middle English diapre < Anglo-French dia(s)p(r)e < Medieval Latin diasprus made of diaper < Medieval Greek díaspros pure white, equivalent to Greek di- di-3 + Medieval Greek áspros white

Related formsun·dia·pered, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diaper

British Dictionary definitions for diaper



US and Canadian a piece of soft material, esp towelling or a disposable material, wrapped around a baby in order to absorb its excrementAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): nappy
  1. a woven pattern on fabric consisting of a small repeating design, esp diamonds
  2. fabric having such a pattern
  3. such a pattern, used as decoration


(tr) to decorate with such a pattern

Word Origin for diaper

C14: from Old French diaspre, from Medieval Latin diasprus made of diaper, from Medieval Greek diaspros pure white, from dia- + aspros white, shining

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

Word Origin and History for diaper
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper