Definition of diaper in English:

diaper

noun

  • 1North American A piece of towelling or other absorbent material wrapped round a baby's bottom and between its legs to absorb and retain urine and faeces; a nappy.

    • ‘In the West, however, babies wear nappies or diapers until they learn to use a pot.’
    • ‘After their second child was born in 1987, she would work days as a medical clerk for the Army and come home at night to two babies in diapers - and often no husband.’
    • ‘The proposed welfare cuts, according to Vivian Hain, ‘will take the shirts off our backs and the diapers off our babies.’’
    • ‘Trying to find time to get to the store for diapers and other essentials sometimes made me want to cry.’
    • ‘Even medications and basic necessities such as soap and diapers remain scarce, a hardship for women who shoulder the responsibility of caring for the family.’
    • ‘Save yourself a ton of money and the local landfill a ton of space, and buy reusable cloth diapers.’
    • ‘Most unique way to spend downtime: I go home and change dirty diapers.’
    • ‘For two 24-hour periods subjects randomly wore either cotton or disposable plastic diapers.’
    • ‘To many parents of young children, coping with ear infections may seem almost as routine as changing wet diapers.’
    • ‘He was wearing a baby blue diaper, and a bib with a yellow star on it.’
    • ‘However, 40 years ago she was doing something very different from changing diapers.’
    • ‘Be sure to wash after going to the bathroom, or after changing diapers.’
    • ‘In the 1980s, most parents believed that cloth diapers were environmentally superior to disposables.’
    • ‘She seems uncomfortable in wet or soiled diapers and wants to be changed.’
    • ‘She changed her baby's diaper, and the two sit and talk.’
    • ‘Well, it's your turn to change our offspring the next time he soils his diaper.’
    • ‘The market for organic cotton diapers is small compared to that for children's clothing.’
    • ‘From now on I will smile when I go out to buy diapers.’
    • ‘Brandon laid the baby down and checked his diaper, which was dry.’
    • ‘She transferred the last of the residents who were still using the cloth diapers to disposable adult diapers.’
  • 2mass noun A linen or cotton fabric woven in a repeating pattern of small diamonds.

    ‘Did you know that the word diaper is the name of the type of linen used to make what was then called a napkin or clout for a baby?’
    1. 2.1A repeating geometrical or floral pattern used to decorate a surface.
      • ‘The gods and goddesses are overlarge for the spaces they occupy and rest somewhat uncertainly on plinths made up of diaper pattern.’
      • ‘The college buildings, of red brick with blue diaper patterning, are grouped around two courtyards.’
      • ‘Its decoration consists of incised lines forming a diaper pattern, interspersed with a punched design of tiny triangular forms arranged like the petals of a flower.’
      • ‘The tops of the legs are headed by weird lions' masks making a meal of acanthus leaves and the background is criss-crossed with a diaper pattern.’
      • ‘Each frieze register is composed of a compact diaper pattern of diamond-shaped leiwen lozenges and is framed at the top and bottom by small circles.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1North American Put a nappy on (a baby).

    • ‘Washing, drying, and salting the chicken felt strangely like bathing and diapering a baby - a very cold, lethargic baby with loose, pinkly skin and floppy limbs.’
    • ‘We would think a family who used disposable plates and bowls for every meal was wasteful, but we don't think twice about diapering our babies in the same fashion.’
    • ‘Is it really going to be the manly thing to be standing on the subway reading about how to diaper your baby?’
    • ‘At one point, in the name of balance, I actually diapered my infant daughter on CNN.’
    • ‘His wish to be a baby again, to be diapered by his mom, and to be free of toileting responsibilities were addressed through play and hypnoidal techniques.’
    • ‘Well, I'm not at all freaked out by it; I even tried diapering him.’
    • ‘Told that Sergeant Cummings sends his regards, Reddan smiles and says, ‘Yeah, I diapered him.’’
    • ‘Those diapered wonders of Rugrats are a little older now, and a little wiser, it seems, but still have a lot to learn even though they're All Grown Up.’
    • ‘After a few minutes, they took the children out, dried them off, diapered them and laid them in the bed.’
  • 2Decorate (a surface) with a repeating geometrical or floral pattern.

    ‘The dating of the border, with its pale blue relief diapering, is interesting, since it indicates when this variation of the famille verte genre was popular.’

Origin

Middle English from Old French diapre, from medieval Latin diasprum, from medieval Greek diaspros (adjective), from dia ‘across’ + aspros ‘white’. The term seems originally to have denoted a costly fabric, but after the 15th century it was used as in diaper (sense 2 of the noun); babies' nappies were originally made from pieces of this fabric, hence diaper (sense 1 of the noun) (late 16th century).

Pronunciation

diaper

/ˈdʌɪəpə/