Main definitions of nappy in English

: nappy1nappy2

nappy1

noun

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’
    ‘disposable nappies’
    • ‘Dirty nappies and food-stained clothes were changed immediately.’
    • ‘One baby's disposable nappies can fill 40 bin liners, or 12 wheelie bins each year.’
    • ‘Bring the bottom edge of the nappy up between your baby's legs.’
    • ‘Around 90 per cent of babies born in the UK every year wear disposable nappies with only a minority using the reusable variety.’
    • ‘I now have greater respect for the women of yesteryear who didn't use disposable nappies but the towelling ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Parents who care about the environment are to be persuaded to return to using washable nappies instead of modern disposable ones.’
    • ‘His mind was still wandering from thinking about what being a dad is going to be like, the dirty nappies, baby sick the works.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A disposable nappy is a fast solution when you need to change your child in the back of the car.’
    • ‘They were probably hoping for some packs of disposable nappies, baby lotion, and maybe a buggy, or a pram or something.’
    • ‘Disposable nappies were the product of years of research investment by multinational companies keen to capture and expand a lucrative market.’
    • ‘As if all that were not enough, new scientific research is beginning to throw up other potential hazards with disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Back in 1991 the company commissioned two studies to compare the ecological costs of reusable versus disposable nappies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Between 1990 and 1996 he changed about 2,000 nappies, both disposable and reusable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The project aims to get parents to use reusable nappies on their babies rather than disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Dress your baby in a nappy, vest and Babygro for sleeping.’
    diaper
    napkin
    hippen
    View synonyms

Origin

1920s: abbreviation of napkin.

Pronunciation:

nappy

/ˈnapi/

Main definitions of nappy in English

: nappy1nappy2

nappy2

adjective

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.’
    • ‘There I was with my West Indian accent, dark skin and nappy hair - before locks and the new African-American identity, mind you.’
    • ‘Well, let me take my nappy hair and get out of here.’
    • ‘These were the dark-skinned folk with nappy hair.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were no sequined costumes or crèmed down nappy hair for the performers here.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He got up and sighed, sweeping his hand through his nappy grey brown hair, his usual habit.’
    • ‘Look at grandma - she's got nappy hair, big lips, a wide nose, high cheek bones.’

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/