napkin

noun
nap·​kin | \ ˈnap-kən How to pronounce napkin (audio) \

Definition of napkin

1 : a piece of material (such as cloth or paper) used at table to wipe the lips or fingers and protect the clothes
2 : a small cloth or towel: such as
a dialectal British : handkerchief
b chiefly Scotland : kerchief
c chiefly British : diaper sense 3

Examples of napkin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Party City, the 900-store party-supply chain, is offering more than 50 Galentine’s Day products for the first time this year, including balloons, streamers and napkins. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "‘Nobody Likes Valentine’s Day Anymore.’ Retailers, Florists Cash In on ‘Galentine’s Day,’ a Ladies-Only Spin," 9 Feb. 2019 By night, Kevin Peterson and Jane Larson turn their fragrance shop, Sfumato, into a cocktail lounge called Castalia, where each drink is served on a napkin spritzed with one of the husband-and-wife duo’s custom scents. Julia Bainbridge, WSJ, "What Do You Call a Bar Without Booze?," 23 Jan. 2019 On the left of the plate, place the dinner fork on the napkin. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Set a Table for Any Kind of Dinner Party," 19 Dec. 2018 But what seemed so simple on a napkin has turned out to be far more complicated and messy in real life. Bruce Murphy, The Verge, "Wisconsin’s $4.1 billion Foxconn boondoggle," 29 Oct. 2018 The list of product categories that entrepreneurs are trying to give the Warby Parker treatment is enormous: bras, sofas, napkins, and razors. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Startup Stampede to Warby Parker Everything," 4 May 2018 To help give your sad sack lunch an indoor picnic flair, swap out your paper napkins for ones of cloth. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Sad Sack No More: Chic Portable Wares for a Better Packed Lunch," 24 Aug. 2018 Asbestos was crucial to ancient Greek society, where the stuff was used within pottery, napkins, insulation, clothing, and even symbolic eternal flames within temples dedicated to Greek gods, which would burn slowly on asbestos wicks. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Asbestos, And Why Did We Use It So Much?," 7 Aug. 2018 His game is a gift for the coach dreaming up wild new plays on the back of a napkin, the executive looking for ways to elevate a patchwork roster, and the fan anxious to see how their favorite team comes together. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The LeBron James Experiment: Considering NBA Free Agency Scenarios for The King," 27 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for napkin

Middle English nappekin, from nape tablecloth, from Anglo-French, from Latin mappa napkin

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Statistics for napkin

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for napkin

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

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More Definitions for napkin

napkin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of napkin

: a small piece of cloth or paper used during a meal to clean your lips and fingers and to protect your clothes

napkin

noun
nap·​kin | \ ˈnap-kən How to pronounce napkin (audio) \

Kids Definition of napkin

: a small piece of cloth or paper used when eating to wipe the lips or fingers and protect the clothes

napkin

noun
nap·​kin | \ ˈnap-kən How to pronounce napkin (audio) \

Medical Definition of napkin

1 chiefly British : diaper

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More from Merriam-Webster on napkin

Spanish Central: Translation of napkin

Nglish: Translation of napkin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of napkin for Arabic Speakers

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