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dia·per / ˈdī(ə)pər/ • n. 1. a piece of absorbent material wrapped around a baby's bottom and between its legs to absorb and retain urine and feces. 2. a linen or cotton fabric woven in a repeating pattern of small diamonds. ∎  a repeating geometric or floral pattern used to decorate a surface. • v. [tr.] put a diaper on (a baby). 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 cent. it was used as in noun sense 2; babies' diapers were originally made from pieces of this fabric, hence sense 1 (late 16th cent.).

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diaper. Decorative pattern on a plain, flat, unbroken surface consisting of the constant repetition of simple figures (such as squares, lozenges, or polygons) closely connected with each other, sometimes with embellishments in the form of stylized flowers. It may be lightly carved, as on the Gothic pulpitum (c.1320–40) in Southwell Minster, Notts.; painted on a wall; or formed of dark bricks laid in diagonal patterns on a lighter brick wall, commonly found in Tudor brickwork and in the works of Butterfield.

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diapercoper, doper, eloper, Europa, groper, hoper, L-dopa, moper, no-hoper, opah, toper •interloper •blooper, cooper, Cowper, duper, grouper, Hooper, looper, pea-souper, pupa, scooper, snooper, stupa, stupor, super, trooper, trouper, whooper •pooper-scooper • party-pooper •paratrooper • mea culpa • chutzpah •crupper, cuppa, scupper, supper, upper •gulper, kalpa, pulper •bumper, dumper, gazumper, jumper, lumper, stumper, thumper •showjumper • diaper • galloper •developer •scalloper, walloper •chirper, sherpa, usurper

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diaper linen fabric with a small diamond pattern XIV; pattern of this kind XVII; small towel XVI. — OF. diapre, earlier diaspre — medL. diasprum — medGr. diaspros, f. DIA- + áspros white.
Hence diaper vb., diapered ppl. adj. XIV.

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