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 Knife and fork definitely required, plus a napkin or three. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "This Jam Club Brings Sqirl to You—No Flight to L.A. Required," 13 Nov. 2019 There are no seats in sight; eating off a napkin while leaning against the hood of a parked car is the style here. Christopher Smith, Los Angeles Times, "The 15 most iconic Harry Bosch haunts across L.A.," 16 Oct. 2019 Don't eat any food item that requires either a napkin or a fork. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit New York City," 20 Aug. 2019 Nassif also pointed out that the Drip Drop is environmentally friendly: He and Greenwald calculated that on average, little kids use around four napkins to clean up melting ice cream. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Know, "Denver teen entrepreneurs create an edible solution to messy ice cream cones," 5 Aug. 2019 There’s a dress with a bodice that’s part of a quilt, which is sewn onto a skirt made of antique table napkins. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Conner Ives—Central Saint Martins Student and Fenty “Intern”—Is Now Selling His Upcycled Clothes," 29 July 2019 One display underscores how quickly the modern game caught on, with antique napkin rings, toast racks and lemon squeezers all adorned with tennis rackets. Stuart Miller,, "Wimbledon is the ultimate pilgrimage for tennis fans and those who love tradition," 23 June 2019 Best burger from a place that will give you a cloth napkin: 1. Corvino. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Bobby Witt Jr., Ned Yost, Patrick Mahomes and dad’n," 4 June 2019 On a napkin, Lladrovci sketched out for me the plan of attack on Abu Hamam, a dusty concrete town on the east bank of the Euphrates. The Economist, "Confessions of an Islamic State fighter," 16 Aug. 2019

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

19 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for napkin

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

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More Definitions for napkin


How to pronounce napkin (audio)

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


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


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

Comments on napkin

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to speed up the process or progress of

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