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’
    • ‘At the same time, we would advise people of the benefits of using towelling nappies for the environment.’
    • ‘Back in 1991 the company commissioned two studies to compare the ecological costs of reusable versus disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Around 90 per cent of babies born in the UK every year wear disposable nappies with only a minority using the reusable variety.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bring the bottom edge of the nappy up between your baby's legs.’
    • ‘I now have greater respect for the women of yesteryear who didn't use disposable nappies but the towelling ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One baby's disposable nappies can fill 40 bin liners, or 12 wheelie bins each year.’
    • ‘Dress your baby in a nappy, vest and Babygro for sleeping.’
    • ‘Between 1990 and 1996 he changed about 2,000 nappies, both disposable and reusable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The project aims to get parents to use reusable nappies on their babies rather than disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Parents who care about the environment are to be persuaded to return to using washable nappies instead of modern disposable ones.’
    • ‘A disposable nappy is a fast solution when you need to change your child in the back of the car.’
    • ‘Dirty nappies and food-stained clothes were changed immediately.’
    • ‘His mind was still wandering from thinking about what being a dad is going to be like, the dirty nappies, baby sick the works.’
    • ‘Instantly they were flooded with offers from firms selling disposable nappies, baby food, layettes and cots.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were probably hoping for some packs of disposable nappies, baby lotion, and maybe a buggy, or a pram or something.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘She just wanted to know what nappy hair felt like,’ my mom complained all the way home.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These were the dark-skinned folk with nappy hair.’
    • ‘There I was with my West Indian accent, dark skin and nappy hair - before locks and the new African-American identity, mind you.’
    • ‘Look at grandma - she's got nappy hair, big lips, a wide nose, high cheek bones.’
    • ‘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/