na·​pery | \ ˈnā-p(ə-)rē How to pronounce napery (audio) \

Definition of napery

: household linen especially : table linen

Did you know?

Napery has been used as a fancy word for our household linens, especially those used to cover a table, since the 14th century. The word derives via Middle English from Anglo-French nape, meaning "tablecloth," and ultimately from Latin mappa, "napkin." You can see part of the word napkin in that root; another, much less obvious relative is apron, which was once spelled as napron in Middle English but gradually evolved to its current spelling by way of English speakers habitually misdividing the phrase a napron as an apron.

Examples of napery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s white napery on the tables, but the kitchen produces a home-style veal Parm for takeout. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 5 May 2020 The napery has an authentic, historical charm that’s right on trend. Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2019

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

First Known Use of napery

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for napery

Middle English, from Anglo-French naperie, from nape tablecloth — more at napkin

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best bedsheets.

Learn More About napery

Time Traveler for napery

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About napery

Dictionary Entries Near napery




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for napery

Cite this Entry

“Napery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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