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napkin

[nap-kin] /ˈnæp kɪn/
noun
1.
a small piece of cloth or paper, usually square, for use in wiping the lips and fingers and to protect the clothes while eating.
3.
Chiefly British. a diaper.
4.
Scot. and North England. a handkerchief.
5.
Scot. a kerchief or neckerchief.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English, equivalent to nape tablecloth (< Middle French nappe < Latin mappa napkin) + -kin; cf. map
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for napkins

napkin

/ˈnæpkɪn/
noun
1.
Also called table napkin. a usually square piece of cloth or paper used while eating to protect the clothes, wipe the mouth, etc; serviette
2.
(rare) a similar piece of cloth used for example as a handkerchief or headscarf
3.
a more formal name for nappy1
4.
a less common term for sanitary towel
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from nape tablecloth, from Latin mappa small cloth, towel; see map
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for napkins

napkin

n.

early 15c., from Old French nape "tablecloth, cloth cover, towel" (from Latin mappa; see map (n.)) + Middle English -kin "little." No longer felt as a diminutive. The Old French diminutive was naperon (see apron).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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napkins in the Bible

(Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a "sweat-cloth"), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and as an article of dress, a "handkerchief" worn on the head (Acts 19:12).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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13
16
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