Definition of diaper in US English:

diaper

noun

  • 1North American A piece of absorbent material wrapped around a baby's bottom and between its legs to absorb and retain urine and feces.

    British term nappy
    • ‘Most unique way to spend downtime: I go home and change dirty diapers.’
    • ‘Last November I converted our old diaper bag to a briefcase.’
    • ‘In the 1980s, most parents believed that cloth diapers were environmentally superior to disposables.’
    • ‘Save yourself a ton of money and the local landfill a ton of space, and buy reusable cloth diapers.’
    • ‘He was wearing a baby blue diaper, and a bib with a yellow star on it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She transferred the last of the residents who were still using the cloth diapers to disposable adult diapers.’
    • ‘Leave baby's diaper off for a few minutes and let the bottom air-dry.’
    • ‘Clean you baby's bottom with every diaper change’
    • ‘You have to change a baby's diaper just like you have to change a car's oil.’
    • ‘From now on I will smile when I go out to buy diapers.’
    • ‘The ways that children will indicate their need for a bowel movement will vary, such as stopping an activity for a few seconds, their face turning red, or the clutching of their diaper.’
    • ‘She won the right to raise their child by demonstrating to a dumbstruck judge what she could manage: she changed the baby's diaper with her teeth.’
    • ‘Have we not seen drugs hidden in a child's diaper to try to get past security forces?’
    • ‘Some parents sew a pocket in the seat of their child's pants and pad it with a piece of diaper.’
    • ‘For two 24-hour periods subjects randomly wore either cotton or disposable plastic diapers.’
    • ‘The proposed welfare cuts, according to Vivian Hain, ‘will take the shirts off our backs and the diapers off our babies.’’
    • ‘During the time between August 1998 through to December 1998 the Society continued to assist the mother by providing formula and diaper costs for the child.’
    • ‘Well, it's your turn to change our offspring the next time he soils his diaper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tess changes the baby's clothing and diaper, then rocks him, humming, till he falls asleep.’
    • ‘She seems uncomfortable in wet or soiled diapers and wants to be changed.’
    • ‘Maybe even rub it down with a soft, cloth diaper.’
    • ‘Who could get wildly excited at the thought of late-night bottle feeds, sore gums and diaper changes at that point in their lives?’
    • ‘However, 40 years ago she was doing something very different from changing diapers.’
    • ‘She changed her baby's diaper, and the two sit and talk.’
    • ‘Brandon laid the baby down and checked his diaper, which was dry.’
    • ‘In the West, however, babies wear nappies or diapers until they learn to use a pot.’
    • ‘Trying to find time to get to the store for diapers and other essentials sometimes made me want to cry.’
    • ‘Wash hands often, especially after changing a baby's diaper or using the restroom.’
    • ‘Care should be taken to weigh the baby wearing only a fresh diaper for the pre-feeding weight, with the same diaper being on the baby for the postfeeding weight.’
    • ‘For lightweight fabrics such as cotton, silk and linen, use a lightweight press cloth - a handkerchief, a diaper or a preshrunk cotton fabric scrap all work well.’
    • ‘To many parents of young children, coping with ear infections may seem almost as routine as changing wet diapers.’
    • ‘So to be safe, keep one hand on the baby's belly while you use the other to work the old diaper off and the new one on.’
    • ‘She takes great joy in stripping off her clothes, diaper and all, in the middle of the living room.’
    • ‘The market for organic cotton diapers is small compared to that for children's clothing.’
    • ‘There is no longer a need to be burdened by diaper bags, bags of Cheerios and other baby-related accoutrements.’
    • ‘Be sure to wash after going to the bathroom, or after changing diapers.’
    • ‘Symptoms include fever lasting two to three days, sore throat, runny nose, mouth ulcers, rashes on the hands, feet and diaper areas, and vomiting and diarrhea.’
  • 2A 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. 2.1 A repeating geometric or floral pattern used to decorate a surface.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

verb

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

    • ‘To his shock, she falls completely under the spell of this inanimate creature, powdering and diapering it, kissing and hugging it, and defending it from Karel's attempts to end the joke and ‘kill’ the ‘baby.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the baby was checked, weighed, and diapered.’
    • ‘Before finding your magazine and discussion boards, I knew nothing about cloth diapering and had a hard time finding resources to back up my thoughts on not circumcising.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These classes help prepare teens for the practical side of parenthood by teaching such skills as feeding, diapering, child safety, and other basic baby care techniques.’
    • ‘At least they are not freakish humanoids dressed in cowboy outfits or made-up like painted whores or diapered like idiot manchildren or bedecked with an elaborate wig of human hair.’
    • ‘Well, I'm not at all freaked out by it; I even tried diapering him.’
    • ‘At one point, in the name of balance, I actually diapered my infant daughter on CNN.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Help your child practice feeding, diapering, holding and burping with a doll.’
    • ‘After a few minutes, they took the children out, dried them off, diapered them and laid them in the bed.’
    • ‘Together, the two boys got their brother diapered and dressed in his nightgown, and Adam carefully combed out all the snarls in Joe's fine silky hair.’
    • ‘Is it really going to be the manly thing to be standing on the subway reading about how to diaper your baby?’
    • ‘Toddlers will often touch themselves when they are naked, such as in the bathtub or while being diapered.’
    • ‘I'm currently reading: ‘The Trixie Update,’ a website kept by a stay at home dad chronicling the feeding, diapering, and sleeping habits of his kid.’
    • ‘Talk about the infant's sibling, about your plans for the afternoon, or about diapering.’
    • ‘Told that Sergeant Cummings sends his regards, Reddan smiles and says, ‘Yeah, I diapered him.’’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2Decorate (a surface) with a repeating geometric 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

/ˈdaɪ(ə)pər//ˈdī(ə)pər/