Main definitions of nappy in English

: nappy1nappy2

nappy1

nounnappies

British
  • 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.

    ‘he is busy making bottles and changing dirty nappies’
    North American term diaper
    ‘disposable nappies’
    • ‘Dress your baby in a nappy, vest and Babygro for sleeping.’
    • ‘I now have greater respect for the women of yesteryear who didn't use disposable nappies but the towelling ones.’
    • ‘Bring the bottom edge of the nappy up between your baby's legs.’
    • ‘His mind was still wandering from thinking about what being a dad is going to be like, the dirty nappies, baby sick the works.’
    • ‘The project aims to get parents to use reusable nappies on their babies rather than disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Disposable nappies from one baby make up half the rubbish of a normal family - that equates to more than four per cent of the district's waste.’
    • ‘Whether this is down to them all recently becoming fathers is unclear, but those dirty nappies and sleepless nights won't have helped their mood.’
    • ‘One baby's disposable nappies can fill 40 bin liners, or 12 wheelie bins each year.’
    • ‘They were probably hoping for some packs of disposable nappies, baby lotion, and maybe a buggy, or a pram or something.’
    • ‘Instantly they were flooded with offers from firms selling disposable nappies, baby food, layettes and cots.’
    • ‘At the same time, we would advise people of the benefits of using towelling nappies for the environment.’
    • ‘It was a brilliant way to show young teenagers and young adults what it's like to get up at 2 am in the morning to feed a baby, to change a dirty nappy, to try and comfort a crying baby.’
    • ‘Around 90 per cent of babies born in the UK every year wear disposable nappies with only a minority using the reusable variety.’
    • ‘Disposable nappies were the product of years of research investment by multinational companies keen to capture and expand a lucrative market.’
    • ‘Back in 1991 the company commissioned two studies to compare the ecological costs of reusable versus disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Between 1990 and 1996 he changed about 2,000 nappies, both disposable and reusable.’
    • ‘As if all that were not enough, new scientific research is beginning to throw up other potential hazards with disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Dirty nappies and food-stained clothes were changed immediately.’
    • ‘A disposable nappy is a fast solution when you need to change your child in the back of the car.’
    • ‘Parents who care about the environment are to be persuaded to return to using washable nappies instead of modern disposable ones.’

Origin

1920s abbreviation of napkin.

Pronunciation

nappy

/ˈnapi/

Main definitions of nappy in English

: nappy1nappy2

nappy2

adjectivenappier, nappiest

US informal
  • (of hair) frizzy (typically used with reference to black people)

    ‘I became proud of my thick, nappy hair’
    • ‘‘She just wanted to know what nappy hair felt like,’ my mom complained all the way home.’
    • ‘These were the dark-skinned folk with nappy hair.’
    • ‘Well, let me take my nappy hair and get out of here.’
    • ‘I think I look fine even though I am over weight, have nappy hair, and seem a bit grouchy, as you would if you were a freak having to put up with normal people.’
    • ‘Look at grandma - she's got nappy hair, big lips, a wide nose, high cheek bones.’
    • ‘There were no sequined costumes or crèmed down nappy hair for the performers here.’
    • ‘He got up and sighed, sweeping his hand through his nappy grey brown hair, his usual habit.’
    • ‘I decided that no matter how much I try to manipulate my hair to be bone straight or wet and curly, the truth of the matter is my hair is nappy.’

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense ‘shaggy’): from Middle Dutch noppigh, Middle Low German noppich, from noppe (see nap). The current sense dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation

nappy

/ˈnapi/