- a small piece of cloth or paper, usually square, for use in wiping the lips and fingers and to protect the clothes while eating.
- sanitary napkin.
- Chiefly British. a diaper.
- Scot. and North England. a handkerchief.
- Scot. a kerchief or neckerchief.
Origin of napkin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for napkin
Maple wrote down on a napkin strategies that he promised would cut homicides in half within two years.Can Bill Bratton Solve De Blasio’s NYPD Dilemma?
December 5, 2013
One of my favorite early memories at Facebook was planning the back-to-school campaign with Mike on the back of a napkin.Randi Zuckerberg: How I Learned to Balance Business and Creativity
November 4, 2013
The charge was to compose a story on it—a story that would justifiably appear on a napkin.Benjamin Percy: How I Write
June 5, 2013
The prince merely said, 'Oh, don't worry - I do that all the time,' and casually covered the mess with his napkin.A Great (if Random) Rod Stewart / Prince Charles Story
January 31, 2013
When I returned to my table later in the meal, I announced that I had lost my napkin.MOCA’s Bizarre Gala
November 13, 2011
Helen Curtis finished her coffee, and laid her napkin beside her plate.Quaint Courtships
Send them to table hot, wrapped in the folds of a napkin that has been heated.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
The abbé had laid down his fork; he held his napkin to his face.
He was bothered by the napkin that was on the plate before him.L'Assommoir
As he pulled his napkin out of its folds, Eric stole a glance at Barbara.The Education of Eric Lane
C15: from Old French, from nape tablecloth, from Latin mappa small cloth, towel; see map
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 napkin
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper