Meaning of bonnet in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbɒnɪt/

See synonyms for bonnet on

Translate bonnet into Spanish


  • 1A woman's or child's hat tied under the chin and with a brim framing the face.

    ‘I began tying the bonnet ribbon under my chin as I made my way to her.’
    • ‘One was for prominent Bollywood directors, the other was for the Jane Austen society who turned up to the screening in Bath dressed in bonnets and top hats.’
    • ‘To heighten the tension, the Amish group is dressed in traditional attire that includes bonnets and suspenders.’
    • ‘Men often dressed in baggy black pants and wide-brimmed hats, while women wore voluminous black dresses, embroidered bodices, and lace bonnets.’
    • ‘Large turquoise bonnets with tiny birds around the brim.’
    • ‘They left after Geneva found her bonnet and tied the strings under her chin perfectly, and they both put on their coats.’
    • ‘It was a straw bonnet with light blue lace ribbon around it.’
    • ‘Straw boaters, summer bonnets and picnic baskets will be the order of the day although limited refreshments will be provided at the venue.’
    • ‘They had decided to revert to the old-style button-up tunics and bonnets.’
    • ‘She had many bonnets, but the new style was a small hat that did nothing to shade the sun from your eyes but tied underneath your chin with beautiful silk strings.’
    • ‘They often looked quite picturesque, the womenfolk in their bonnets and the men folk in their straw hats.’
    • ‘Her curly blonde hair was pulled into a tight bun atop her head, and she was wearing a white bonnet that matched her black maids' frock and white apron.’
    • ‘Women's costumes in Normandy include white, flared bonnets and dresses with wide, elbow-length sleeves.’
    • ‘Marietta slowly wrapped her light shawl around her shoulders, then tied on her bonnet, taking one last glance at Nathan.’
    • ‘From inside his coat he produced her bonnet, battered and dirty.’
    • ‘Dresses irked him, let alone such things as bonnets, gloves, and parasols.’
    • ‘Easter is next week and that means little kids in cute dresses and bonnets, not down jackets and knit caps.’
    • ‘Pioneer women wore bonnets and gloves to keep their skin white while plowing the fields.’
    • ‘A plump woman in a black dress with a white bonnet and apron had come out of the parlor, a feather duster in her hand.’
    • ‘She was a beautiful woman, her skin was fair and pale and her chestnut brown hair was soft a silky in the sun when she took her bonnet off.’
    1. 1.1Scottish A man's soft, flat cap with or without a peak.
      ‘His bald head was currently covered with a bonnet.’
      • ‘As he walks up the final fairway, waving a new tartan bonnet, the crowd rise in tribute to a great champion.’
      • ‘Armed to the teeth and clad in kilt, tartan hose and bonnet, he looks every inch the clan chieftain.’
      • ‘Gurkhas and Scots Highlanders have always had a close mutual affinity and the Gurkha bagpipe and diced bonnet are directly drawn from those of their comrades.’
      • ‘They were Scotsmen in kilts, brandishing bayonets and wearing feathered bonnets.’
      • ‘He is depicted clothed in this painting, wearing a feathered bonnet, and again confronts the viewer directly.’
      • ‘And while these elderly gents may look faintly ridiculous when they troop out in their finery of tartan trews, Lincoln green tunics and feathered bonnets they are all serious people.’
      • ‘Hard to miss, especially as they turned out in full dress uniform with plaids and feather bonnets on what turned out to be a warm day.’
      • ‘After fierce fighting the Mahratta front line on the British left was broken by the 78th Highlanders, majestic giants in kilts and feathered bonnets.’
    2. 1.2Heraldry The velvet cap within a coronet.
      ‘The Knights and Ladies of the Garter were dressed in dark blue velvet robes, red velvet hoods, and black velvet bonnets topped with swaying ostrich plumes.’
      • ‘Hanover became a kingdom in 1816, and the bonnet was replaced by a German royal crown.’
      • ‘Then the royal procession, with Baroness Amos carrying the cap of maintenance, a sort of scarlet bonnet with red trim.’
    3. 1.3The ceremonial feathered headdress traditionally worn by honoured male members of various North American peoples of the Great Plains.
      ‘A respected art dealer is busted for selling a Cheyenne war bonnet.’
      • ‘Troy made a fabulous war bonnet and reported on the Plains Indians replete with buffalo, tepee, and travois information.’
      • ‘He removes his war bonnet and plants his sword at the foot of the throne.’
      • ‘To represent the Illini with a Plains Indian war bonnet, and to dress the mascot in the military regalia of a Sioux warrior, is therefore totally inaccurate.’
      • ‘I lived in Leicester, and when he came down that gangplank he was like 10 feet tall with this great war bonnet on.’
  • 2British The hinged metal canopy covering the engine of a motor vehicle.

    North American term hood

    ‘On his arrival the criminals turned their guns on him, shooting his police car three times - damaging his vehicle bonnet, windshield and engine.’
    • ‘Progress was slow - is there really a 2-litre engine under the bonnet?’
    • ‘The front bonnet affords extra crumple space in the event of an accident, and both driver and passenger airbags are standard.’
    • ‘The Hillman name appeared on the front of the bonnet and the headlight surrounds were painted rather than chromed.’
    • ‘The designers have also given the Ranger a new bonnet, grille, bumper and headlamps.’
    • ‘Underneath the bonnet stretching out in front is Jaguar's lovely V8.’
    • ‘Most importantly, the cars may look old, but purring under the bonnet are state-of-the-art Ford engines.’
    • ‘And while it is easy to forget what lies under the bonnet, the engine will not object to a polish and shine as well.’
    • ‘The woman tried to drive off, but Gatty jumped on the bonnet and kicked the windscreen, smashing it.’
    • ‘Rising over the bonnet and windscreen, the airflow is smooth.’
    • ‘As one of the thieves drove their car straight at him, he jumped on to the bonnet and smashed the windscreen with his elbow.’
    • ‘Most obvious changes are at the front end in the bonnet and front bumper and at the back where a new lamp design has been added.’
    • ‘Car manufacturers are packing ever-more technology into the dashboard and under the bonnet of vehicles.’
    • ‘Legislation is going to demand that the front of a car must absorb up to 700 Joules of impact energy on the front edge of the bonnet.’
    • ‘The tires are brown, there's pretty arcing streaks along the car, in fetching pale beige, and blackened handprints round the bonnet and door handle.’
    • ‘It certainly is ‘retro’ with the long bonnet, side scoops, round headlights, aggressive nose and the galloping horse insignia.’
    • ‘There's a round thing that fits in a hole to close the bonnet, and it's been jammed down very, very securely.’
    • ‘When the woman turned the car round in the road she threw herself on the bonnet.’
    • ‘Will frowned and opened his door, coming round the car and pulling me up off the bonnet.’
    • ‘The compact, boxy design was very forward looking in its day and is still very striking now, with its dramatic overhanging bonnet and cute round tail-lights.’
    tip, nose cone
  • 3A cowl on a chimney.

    ‘Bonnet cowl with collar available with 75mm deep collar for ornamental chimney pots.’
    • ‘Should I not have the Chimney Cowl in stock I will put on the Mesh Bonnet Cowl (pictured above right), these both cost the same to supply and fit.’
    • ‘This is a method and apparatus for providing a flashing system for a chimney-bonnet positioned on a chimney of a building structure.’
    • ‘Also called the bonnet, the chimney cap is the cornice at the top of the chimney.’
    • ‘The insert on the top is often called the Hood or bonnet top, and is frequently incorrectly mistaken as a terminal that can be used with a live flue.’
  • 4Sailing
    historical An additional canvas laced to the foot of a sail to catch more wind.

    ‘For fine weather sailing one or two ‘bonnets’ are added to the foot of the sail; we sailed with one bonnet of 210 sqft added to the main.’
    • ‘When a greater spread of sail was required, a piece called a bonnet was added to the foot of the sail, and a further piece called a drabbler could be added to that.’
    • ‘When you shortened sail, you began by lowering the yard a bit, removing a bonnet, and re-reeving tacks and sheets.’
    • ‘Another way to reduce sail is to build a sail with removable sections called bonnets and drabbiers.’
    • ‘Seventeenth century square riggers often had a bonnet - an additional horizontal panel of sail-that could be laced to the main, giving it some flexibility.’


Late Middle English (denoting a soft brimless hat for men): from Old French bonet, from medieval Latin abonnis ‘headgear’. bonnet (sense 1) dates from the late 15th century.