Definition of bonnet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbänət/


1A woman’s or child’s hat tied under the chin, typically with a brim framing the face.
Example sentences
  • I began tying the bonnet ribbon under my chin as I made my way to her.
  • One was for prominent Bollywood directors, the other was for the Jane Austen society who turned up to the screening in Bath dressed in bonnets and top hats.
  • To heighten the tension, the Amish group is dressed in traditional attire that includes bonnets and suspenders.
1.1 (also war bonnet) The ceremonial feathered headdress of an American Indian.
Example sentences
  • A respected art dealer is busted for selling a Cheyenne war bonnet.
  • Troy made a fabulous war bonnet and reported on the Plains Indians replete with buffalo, tepee, and travois information.
  • He removes his war bonnet and plants his sword at the foot of the throne.
1.2A soft round brimless hat like a beret, especially as worn by men and boys in Scotland.
Example sentences
  • His bald head was currently covered with a bonnet.
  • As he walks up the final fairway, waving a new tartan bonnet, the crowd rise in tribute to a great champion.
  • Armed to the teeth and clad in kilt, tartan hose and bonnet, he looks every inch the clan chieftain.
1.3 Heraldry The velvet cap within a coronet.
Example sentences
  • The Knights and Ladies of the Garter were dressed in dark blue velvet robes, red velvet hoods, and black velvet bonnets topped with swaying ostrich plumes.
  • Hanover became a kingdom in 1816, and the bonnet was replaced by a German royal crown.
  • Then the royal procession, with Baroness Amos carrying the cap of maintenance, a sort of scarlet bonnet with red trim.
2A protective cover or cap over a machine or object, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Well, with that and the money I make from this story, Chris' bonnet is almost covered.
  • Amish women are expected to wear a prayer covering and a bonnet when they appear in public settings.
  • So Boxing Day finds the three of us piling into the Range Rover. ‘Great little mover,’ says Nick patting the bonnet of the huge machine as if it were a puppy.
2.1A cowl on a chimney.
Example sentences
  • Bonnet cowl with collar available with 75mm deep collar for ornamental chimney pots.
  • Should I not have the Chimney Cowl in stock I will put on the Mesh Bonnet Cowl (pictured above right), these both cost the same to supply and fit.
  • This is a method and apparatus for providing a flashing system for a chimney-bonnet positioned on a chimney of a building structure.
2.2British The hood of an automobile.
Example sentences
  • Sold only in Britain, it's styled to look like the flagship model, but under the bonnet you get a diesel engine that makes the sounds of the canal when you start it up.
  • I've got substantial front-end damage - bumper, bonnet, cross-member and sill.
  • They removed the bonnet and the air filter but took nothing else.
3 Sailing , historical An additional canvas laced to the foot of a sail to catch more wind.
Example sentences
  • For fine weather sailing one or two ‘bonnets’ are added to the foot of the sail; we sailed with one bonnet of 210 sqft added to the main.
  • When a greater spread of sail was required, a piece called a bonnet was added to the foot of the sail, and a further piece called a drabbler could be added to that.
  • When you shortened sail, you began by lowering the yard a bit, removing a bonnet, and re-reeving tacks and sheets.



sense 1.
Example sentences
  • The lady wears a lavender dress; her white gloved hands and bonneted head are like blossoms sprouting from her wrists and neck.
  • The only interesting variation comes when the adenoidal Raymond ‘develops a sudden physical crush on Desmond's bonneted Lady Chatterley.’
  • ‘Wholesome’ is the clear message that the company's trademark image - a smiling, bonneted girl carrying a basket of sunny California's bounty - is meant to convene.


Late Middle English (denoting a soft brimless hat for men): from Old French bonet, from medieval Latin abonnis 'headgear'. sense 1 dates from the late 15th century.

  • A type of soft brimless hat for men was once known as a bonnet. The source is Old French bonet, from medieval Latin abonnis ‘headgear’. In the late 15th century it came to be used for the distinctive type of hat worn by a woman or a child with a brim framing the face and ribbons tied under the chin.

Words that rhyme with bonnet


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bon·net

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