di·​a·​per | \ ˈdī-pər How to pronounce diaper (audio) also ˈdī-ə- How to pronounce diaper (audio) \

Definition of diaper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fabric with a distinctive pattern:
a : a rich silk fabric
b : a soft usually white linen or cotton fabric used for tablecloths or towels
2 : an allover pattern consisting of one or more small repeated units of design (such as geometric figures) connecting with one another or growing out of one another with continuously flowing or straight lines
3 : a basic garment for infants consisting of a folded cloth or other absorbent material drawn up between the legs and fastened about the waist also : a similar garment especially for incontinent adults


diapered; diapering\ ˈdī-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce diaper (audio) \

Definition of diaper (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ornament with diaper designs
2 : to put on or change the diaper of (an infant)

Illustration of diaper

Illustration of diaper


diaper 2

In the meaning defined above

Examples of diaper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each month, the pantry holds a contactless diaper drive to collect diapers and wipes. courant.com, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 24 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, the two-time NBA MVP has offered advice to the Wie West's on diaper changing. Christina Macfarlane And Ben Morse, CNN, "Michelle Wie West's retirement thoughts changed by having a baby girl," 10 Dec. 2020 For infants, Preddie suggests bringing a diaper-changing mat along. Heather Greenwood Davis, National Geographic, "10 ways families can minimize holiday travel risk," 23 Nov. 2020 For example, most diaper changing mats are a piece of vinyl, or cloth with vinyl backing. Steve Metsch, chicagotribune.com, "Down to Business: Name of this diaper pad, trunk mat company says it all — Lessy Messy," 6 Nov. 2020 Likewise diaper sales were up 28%, isopropyl alcohol sales were up 20% and Pine-Sol sales were up 10%. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "Here’s what the Bay Area and California stay-at-home orders mean for grocery shopping," 4 Dec. 2020 The Liberty Island gift shop sells 9/11 memorial beach towels, one of which Jessi obtains and fashions into an improvised diaper. New York Times, "How Nick Kroll Became the Picasso of Puberty," 3 Dec. 2020 However, this week, the designing mama was able to slip away from diaper duty in order to pursue a special project. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, ""Good Bones'" Mina Starsiak Hawk Teases Secret Project and Our First Is a Hospital," 2 Dec. 2020 Without informing them of the issue or asking permission, Brenda took it upon herself to change the diaper. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Mother confronts distant relative who changed kid’s diaper without asking," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And among the Black fathers who do live with their children, a higher percentage of them bathe, dress or diaper their kids compared with White dads, the study found. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "Racial microaggressions take a major toll on Black Americans," 4 Dec. 2020 The baby shower host had trivia games (guessing lines from popular children's books) and activities for the soon-to-be parents (diapering a doll blindfolded). Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Staying Apart, Together: How to learn to love celebrations in quarantine," 19 May 2020 The more intense care required at this age — diapering, bottle feeding — also can’t be done without almost continual close contact and requires more adults per child, increasing the inherent risk. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus as Kids Return to Babysitters, Day Cares and Camps," 23 May 2020 Besides environmental impact, Austin started cloth diapering her now 2-year-old twins for health reasons. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Wauwatosa mom of twins just started a cloth diaper service for Milwaukee-area families," 21 Oct. 2019 Extra towels provided padding for my makeshift diapering stations: the console under the TV at the Dupont Circle, the dresser at Four Seasons Montreal. Sarah Firshein, Condé Nast Traveler, "What I Learned While Traveling Alone With a Baby," 9 Aug. 2019 Duties and activities that may be required of the nurses include ventilator care, tracheotomy care and suctioning, medication administration, toileting/diapering and oral feeding. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Harford school board OKs contracts for security cameras on new buses," 25 July 2019 The early weeks have smeared in memory: a steady flow of friends and relatives, an endless chain of diapering and feeding. Anndee Hochman, https://www.inquirer.com, "The Parent Trip: Latisha ‘Tish’ Johnson of Mt. Airy," 5 June 2019 The endless cycle of crying, feeding, burping, diapering, bathing, clothing and coddling, while trying to battle fatigue and pain after birth is taxing. Shanon Lee, Redbook, "Why I Refuse to Feel Shame for Bottle Feeding," 14 July 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diaper.' 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 diaper


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diaper


Middle English diapre, from Anglo-French diaspre, from Medieval Latin diasprum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about diaper

Time Traveler for diaper

Time Traveler

The first known use of diaper was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for diaper

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diaper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaper. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for diaper


How to pronounce diaper (audio) How to pronounce diaper (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of diaper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : a piece of cloth or other material that is placed between a baby's legs and fastened around the waist to hold body waste



English Language Learners Definition of diaper (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to put a diaper on (someone)


di·​a·​per | \ ˈdī-pər How to pronounce diaper (audio) , ˈdī-ə-pər \

Kids Definition of diaper

: a piece of absorbent material for a baby worn pulled up between the legs and fastened around the waist


di·​a·​per | \ ˈdī(-ə)-pər How to pronounce diaper (audio) \

Medical Definition of diaper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a basic garment especially for infants consisting of a folded cloth or other absorbent material drawn up between the legs and fastened about the waist
diapered; diapering\ -​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce diaper (audio) \

Medical Definition of diaper (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put on or change the diaper of (an infant)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on diaper

Nglish: Translation of diaper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diaper for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diaper

Comments on diaper

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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