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


He lifted the car's bonnet to check the engine.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Indeed, pictures of Howe at this time show her with downcast eyes, a bonnet, and a shawl. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 Leather-skinned men in cowboy hats steer rickety horse carts while children in bonnets bounce in the back. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "An unlikely feud between beekeepers and Mennonites simmers in Mexico," 12 Apr. 2019 The protesters were clad in red robes and the signature white bonnets — known as wings — in a protest tactic that has been used before. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "70 People Were Arrested During First Day of Kavanaugh Hearings," 5 Sep. 2018 All the guests wore the iconic red robes and white bonnets from the show. Jenna Milliner-waddell,, "Kylie Jenner, A Big Handmaid’s Tale Fan, Threw A Gilead-Themed Birthday Party," 10 June 2019 In the past several years, activists have adopted its signature costumes—blood red gowns and white bonnets—as protest attire. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Kylie Jenner just gave “The Handmaid’s Tale” an ill-conceived makeover," 10 June 2019 But on the park side, DS+R has buried the building in a sloping mound of lawn and hooded it with a gigantic glass bonnet. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "The Most Ambitious Park in Russia," 25 July 2018 His older sister's handmade wool bonnet came from a high-end Spanish children's wear boutique, Irulea. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Royal Baby Wore a Very Traditional Shawl for His Official Debut," 23 Apr. 2018 As Easter approaches and Irving Berlin’s lyrics about sonnets and Easter bonnets hits the airwaves, one might be forgiven for wondering not if clothes are modern (as the MoMA recently did), but if hats are. Vogue, "It’s Almost Easter! Here’s How to Pick the Right High-Fashion Hat," 27 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bonnet

Statistics for bonnet

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bonnet

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bonnet



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on 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

Comments on bonnet

What made you want to look up bonnet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!