1 [nap]
verb (used without object), napped, napping.
to sleep for a short time; doze.
to be off one's guard: The question caught him napping.
verb (used with object), napped, napping.
to sleep or doze through (a period of time, an activity, etc.) (usually followed by away ): I napped the afternoon away. He naps away most of his classes.
a brief period of sleep, especially one taken during daytime: Has the baby had her nap?

before 900; Middle English nappen (v.), nap (noun), Old English hnappian to sleep; cognate with Middle High German napfen

1. nod, rest, catnap. Unabridged


2 [nap]
the short fuzzy ends of fibers on the surface of cloth, drawn up in napping.
any downy coating, as on plants.
verb (used with object), napped, napping.
to raise a nap on.

1400–50; late Middle English noppe, Old English -hnoppa (as in wullknoppa, mistake for *wullhnoppa tuft of wool), cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German noppe; akin to Old English hnoppian to pluck

napless, adjective
naplessness, noun


3 [nap]
napoleon ( defs 2, 3 ).

shortened form


a combining form extracted from kidnap, with the general sense “abduct or steal in order to collect a ransom”: artnap; petnap; starnap.


Napoleon ("Nap") 1875–1959, U.S. baseball player. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nap1 (næp)
vb , naps, napping, napped
1.  to sleep for a short while; doze
2.  to be unaware or inattentive; be off guard (esp in the phrase catch someone napping)
3.  a short light sleep; doze
[Old English hnappian; related to Middle High German napfen]

nap2 (næp)
1.  a.  the raised fibres of velvet or similar cloth
 b.  the direction in which these fibres lie when smoothed down
2.  any similar downy coating
3.  informal (Austral) blankets, bedding
vb , naps, napping, napped
4.  (tr) to raise the nap of (cloth, esp velvet) by brushing or similar treatment
[C15: probably from Middle Dutch noppe; related to Old English hnoppian to pluck]

nap3 (næp)
1.  Also called: napoleon a card game similar to whist, usually played for stakes
2.  a call in this card game, undertaking to win all five tricks
3.  horse racing a tipster's choice for an almost certain winner
4.  go nap
 a.  to undertake to win all five tricks at nap
 b.  to risk everything on one chance
5.  slang (Austral) not to go nap on to hold in disfavour
6.  nap hand a position in which there is a very good chance of success if a risk is taken
vb , naps, napping, napped
7.  (tr) horse racing to name (a horse) as likely to win a race
[C19: short for napoleon, the original name of the card game]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"downy surface of cloth," 1440, from M.Du. or M.L.G. noppe "nap, tuft of wool," probably introduced by Flem. cloth-workers. Cognate with O.E. hnappian "to pluck," ahneopan "pluck off," O.Swed. niupa "to pinch," Goth. dis-hniupan "to tear."

O.E. hnappian "to doze, sleep lightly," of unknown origin, apparently related to O.H.G. hnaffezan. The noun is first attested c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Napoli-Capodichino Airport

  2. network access point

  3. neutrophil activating protein

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


gambling card game played throughout northern Europe under various names and guises. It reached England in the 1880s. Its title may commemorate the deposed Napoleon III.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Many will be sleep-deprived and looking to pull over for a nap or a dose of
If he's tired, have him take a nap or go to sleep for the evening.
Researchers tested sleep-deprived subjects in driving simulators to explore the
  effectiveness of nap-and-coffee therapy.
There is much difference of opinion concerning tha desirability of an
  after-dinner nap.
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