from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hat of cloth or straw, held in place by ribbons tied under the chin, that is worn by women and children.
  • n. Scots A brimless cap worn by men or boys.
  • n. A removable metal plate over a machine part, such as a valve.
  • n. Chiefly British The hood of an automobile.
  • n. A windscreen for a chimney.
  • n. A cover for a fireplace.
  • n. Nautical A strip of canvas laced to a fore-and-aft sail to increase sail area.
  • transitive v. To put a bonnet on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of hat, once worn by women or children, held in place by ribbons tied under the chin.
  • n. A traditional Scottish woollen brimless cap; a bunnet.
  • n. The polishing head of a power buffer, often made of wool.
  • n. The hinged cover over the engine of a motor car; a hood.
  • n. A length of canvas attached to a fore-and-aft sail to increase the pulling power.
  • v. To take off the bonnet or cap as a mark of respect; to uncover.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A headdress for men and boys; a cap.
  • n. A soft, elastic, very durable cap, made of thick, seamless woolen stuff, and worn by men in Scotland.
  • n. A covering for the head, worn by women, usually protecting more or less the back and sides of the head, but no part of the forehead. The shape of the bonnet varies greatly at different times; formerly the front part projected, and spread outward, like the mouth of a funnel.
  • n. Anything resembling a bonnet in shape or use.
  • n. A small defense work at a salient angle; or a part of a parapet elevated to screen the other part from enfilade fire.
  • n. A metallic canopy, or projection, over an opening, as a fireplace, or a cowl or hood to increase the draught of a chimney, etc.
  • n. A frame of wire netting over a locomotive chimney, to prevent escape of sparks.
  • n. A roofing over the cage of a mine, to protect its occupants from objects falling down the shaft.
  • n. In pumps, a metal covering for the openings in the valve chambers.
  • n. An additional piece of canvas laced to the foot of a jib or foresail in moderate winds.
  • n. The second stomach of a ruminating animal.
  • n. An accomplice of a gambler, auctioneer, etc., who entices others to bet or to bid; a decoy.
  • n. The metal cover or shield over the motor; predominantly British usage. In the U.S. it is called the hood.
  • intransitive v. To take off the bonnet or cap as a mark of respect; to uncover.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To force the bonnet or hat over the eyes of, with the view of mobbing or hustling.
  • To pull off the bonnet; make obeisance.
  • To provide with an iron shield or bonnet: as, to bonnet a safety-lamp.
  • n. A covering for the head, worn by men and boys, and differing from a hat chiefly in having no brim; a cap, usually of some soft material.
  • n. A form of hat or head-covering worn by women out of doors.
  • n. The cap, usually of velvet, within the metallic part of a crown, covering the head when the crown is worn.
  • n. In fortification, a small work with two faces, having only a parapet with two rows of palisades about 10 or 12 feet apart.
  • n. Nautical, an addition to a sail, or an additional part laced to the foot of a sail.
  • n. A cast-iron plate covering the openings in the valve-chambers of a pump.
  • n. A frame of wire netting over the chimney of a locomotive engine to prevent the escape of sparks: used chiefly in engines which burn wood.
  • n. In mining, a shield or cover over the cage to protect the miners in case anything should fall down the shaft.
  • n. A cowl or wind-cap for a chimney; a hood for ventilation.
  • n. The hood over the platform of a railroad-car.
  • n. A sliding lid or cover for a hole in an iron pipe.
  • n. A protuberance occurring chiefly on the snout of one of the right whales. It appears to be primitively smooth, but becomes honeycombed by the barnacles which attach themselves to it.
  • n. A decoy; a player at a gaming-table, or bidder at an auction, whose business it is to lure others to play or buy: so called because such a person figuratively bonnets or blinds the eyes of the victims.
  • n. A local name in Florida of the yellow water-lily, Nuphar advena.
  • n. A portion of a coal-seam left for a roof.
  • n. A flat piece of wood on the top of a prop.
  • n. plural Gas-coal or shale overlying a coal-seam or worked with it.
  • n. The lid or cover of a hole by which access may be had to valves or other apparatus in a closed chamber.
  • n. The protecting hood over the machinery or motor of a motor-vehicle, in front of the dashboard.
  • n. The plate on the motor-crank case, or on the transmission gear, normally closed, through which the cranks and gears of a motor-car can be inspected and cleaned and oiled.
  • n. plural The spatter-dock, Nymphæa advena and the other species. See Nymphæa, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hat tied under the chin
  • n. protective covering consisting of a metal part that covers the engine
  • v. dress in a bonnet


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English bonet, cap, from Old French, material for a headdress, perhaps from Medieval Latin obbonis, probably of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bonet, from Middle French bonet (Modern French bonnet), from Old French bonet ("material from which hats are made"), from Frankish *bunni ("that which is bound"), from Proto-Germanic *bundijan (“bundle”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰendʰ- (“to tie”). Compare also Late Latin abbonis, obbonis ("ribbon of a headdress"), also of Germanic origin, from Frankish *obbunni, from *ob- ("above, over") + *bunni. Cognate with Old High German gibunt ("band, ribbon"), Middle Dutch bont ("bundle, truss"), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌱𐌿𐌽𐌳𐌹 (gabundi, "bond"). More at over, bundle.


  • What's put a bee in his bonnet is the way the studios keep coming out with newer and better versions of movies that have already been released on DVD.

    Simple Tricks and Nonsense: Double-dipping Your DVDs

  • "Yes, you'd better not meddle with the darkies if you don't want your fingers smutted, Miss Anne; for young ladies with smutty fingers, don't succeed in society very well, you'd much better attend to your fineries, and exert your superfluous reformatory energies upon one of those marvellous structures which you call a bonnet, and I call a coal-scuttle."

    Sister Anne's Vocation.

  • The bonnet is silly and it has a big fold down the middle because of the shipping.

    about that package

  • Carter Watson, independently wealthy, writes about social conditions, has "the ethical bee in his bonnet," is "a reformer of no mean pretension" and author of 27 cleverly written books on the slum-dwelling working classes such as If Christ Came to New Orleans, The Worked-Out Worker, Tenement Reform in Berlin, The Rural Slums of England, The Cave Man of Civilization.

    “Samuel! There was a rolling wonder in the sound. Ay, there was!”

  • Martin's hilarious account of Boswell's attempting to impress the King of Prussia by wearing a fetching Scottish bonnet is matched, deliciously, by Sisman's description of Boswell's announcing his connection to the Scottish royal line to the Hanoverian George III, who was distinctly unamused.

    Bozzy's Life

  • My bonnet is straight, and that 's all I care about.

    An Old-Fashioned Girl

  • I have seen Opera of "Trovatore" – in bonnet trimmed with grapes I went, bonnet baptized with "oh d-Cologne," but Alexander McDonald was my escort, Chev feeling very ill just at Opera time, but making himself strangely comfortable after my departure with easy-chair, foot-stool, and unlimited pile of papers.

    Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910

  • "Hem – m – that one with the flaxen curls under her bonnet is Miss Day."

    The Hidden Hand

  • "And now she is queerer than ever," said Alexia, glad to think that the dainty blue affair on her head, she called a bonnet, was already doing its work, as she heard a lady in the seat back of them, question if it were not one of the newest of Madame Marchaud's creations.

    Five Little Peppers Grown Up

  • Every morning she wore the same black satin bonnet, and the same white shawl; had delicate gloves on the smallest of hands, and gathered her skirt daintily up from the smallest of feet.

    Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances


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  • Bring the comb and play upon it!

    Marching, here we come!

    Willie cocks his highland bonnet,

    Johnnie beats the drum.

    - Robert Louis Stevenson, 'Marching Song'.

    November 4, 2008

  • "But I am, as you like to point out in climatology, talking from my bonnet."

    - Tim

    February 10, 2007