bon·​net | \ ˈbä-nət How to pronounce bonnet (audio) \

Definition of bonnet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) chiefly Scotland : a man's or boy's cap
(2) : a brimless Scottish cap of seamless woolen fabric — compare tam-o'-shanter sense 2
b : a cloth or straw hat tied under the chin and worn by women and children
2a British : an automobile hood
b : a metal covering or cowl (as for a fireplace, valve chamber, or ventilator)


bonneted; bonneting; bonnets

Definition of bonnet (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to provide with or dress in a bonnet


biographical name
Bon·​net | \ bȯ-ˈnā How to pronounce Bonnet (audio) \

Definition of Bonnet (Entry 3 of 3)

Georges-Étienne 1889–1973 French politician and diplomat

Examples of bonnet in a Sentence

Noun He lifted the car's bonnet to check the engine.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In some scenes, schoolgirls walk in line wearing red capes and white bonnets, inadvertently bringing to mind The Handmaid's Tale. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Emma': Film Review," 3 Feb. 2020 Our bonnets, durags and headwraps are a fact of life — a cultural mainstay that Black people all over the world use on a daily basis. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "20 Next-Level Headwraps, Durags and Bonnets They'll Want To Rock Everyday," 27 Nov. 2019 For overnight care, a sumptuous silk pillowcase or bonnet, like hairstylist Vernon François's Sleep-In Cap, will protect hair, as well as help preserve a pre-existing style. Vogue, "12 Luxurious Gifts for That Hair-Obsessed Friend," 26 Nov. 2019 Jerk seasonings mix ground allspice with scotch-bonnet peppers, garlic, onions, cinnamon and cloves, paprika, nutmeg and black pepper. Rand Richards Cooper,, "Review: Saz Jamaican Restaurant, Newington," 10 July 2019 And for the last several years, each first Tuesday in December the city celebrates Hat Day, when the townspeople are encouraged to wear their fedoras, derbies, and bonnets. James Sullivan,, "A tip of the hat to history," 3 Sep. 2019 An especially fetching bonnet was made by Mrs. C.B. Summer, Fashionable Milliner, in Medina at her shop on the second floor of 7 Public Square in 1887 or 1888. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Historic Weymouth provides interesting stops on Medina County’s Fall Foliage Tour," 14 Oct. 2019 The party included bonnets and robes worn by the characters in the show, as well as costumed servers and Gilead posters. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Threw a "Disturbing" Handmaid's Tale Party for Her Best Friend," 10 June 2019 The visual iconography of the handmaids—women depersonalized by scarlet cloaks, rendered faceless by wraparound white bonnets—became a fixture at protests and assemblies around the world. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Challenge of Margaret Atwood," 5 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Down Under mystery up in the air and its blond-bonneted, Renoir-ish women lost among the venomous snakes, poisonous ants and whatever dreadful fate might befall one in feral Australia. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ Review: No Walk in the Park," 24 May 2018 Chris Murray with the Scotch Bonnets The L.A.-based ska and reggae singer performs. Carrie Donovan, Washington Post, "Going Out Guide for Montgomery County, July 27-Aug. 2, 2017," 26 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bonnet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bonnet


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1619, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonnet


Middle English bonet auxiliary sail, kind of cap, from Anglo-French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Saxon gibund bundle, Old English bindan to bind

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Time Traveler for bonnet

Time Traveler

The first known use of bonnet was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bonnet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bonnet


How to pronounce Bonnet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bonnet

: a hat that ties under the chin


bon·​net | \ ˈbä-nət How to pronounce bonnet (audio) \

Kids Definition of bonnet

: a child's or woman's hat usually tied under the chin by ribbons or strings

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bonnet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bonnet

Spanish Central: Translation of bonnet

Nglish: Translation of bonnet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bonnet for Arabic Speakers

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