Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Household linen, especially table linen.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Linen cloths used for domestic purposes, especially for the table; table-cloths, napkins, etc.
  • noun Linen worn on the person; linen underclothing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Table linen; also, linen clothing, or linen in general.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Household linen, especially table linen.

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

  • noun linens for the dining table

Etymologies

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

[Middle English naperie, from Old French, from nape, nappe, tablecloth; see nappe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman naperie, Middle French naperie, from nape + -erie.

Examples

  • A house-keeper should have a large chest to contain napery which is not to be used every day.

    Manners and Social Usages

  • But the tables are set in those restaurants that have napery, such as "Delmonico's, 56 Beaver Street, 2009" and "Caf é Arbat, 306 Brighton Avenue, 2009," as if the curtain has just gone up and we are expected to make an entrance.

    Crossing Delicate Borders

  • There was a flurry of towels, then of napery—fresh tablecloth, fresh napkins—silverware and clean glasses.

    Venom

  • I must also admit to possessing one of the sillier varieties of napery ever conceived of by the victorians, who so loved to invent single use food accessories, we owe them the asparagus peeler, and the pickle fork, for example, the better to advertise their prosperity, and love of gimmick to their dinner guests.

    Blog Rolls

  • I must also admit to possessing one of the sillier varieties of napery ever conceived of by the victorians, who so loved to invent single use food accessories, (we owe them the asparagus peeler, and the pickle fork, for example), the better to advertise their prosperity, and love of gimmick to their dinner guests.

    Toast:

  • So, the tray being sat before them, they fell to and ate their fill; and when they had made an end of eating, they rose from meat and washed their hands with pure water and musk-scented soap, and dried them with napery embroidered in silk and bugles; but to Nur al-Din they brought a napkin laced with red gold whereon he wiped his hands.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The puritan weavers of Glasgow shall provide them plenty of broad-cloth, when we make a descent from the Highlands; and if the ministers could formerly preach the old women of the Scottish boroughs out of their webs of napery, to make tents to the fellows on

    A Legend of Montrose

  • Out of a similar sideboard, properly draped with white napery and imitation lace, the Bishop had constructed the altar which decorated his oratory.

    Les Miserables

  • I must also admit to possessing one of the sillier varieties of napery ever conceived of by the victorians, who so loved to invent single use food accessories, (we owe them the asparagus peeler, and the pickle fork, for example), the better to advertise their prosperity, and love of gimmick to their dinner guests.

    On About Biscuits

  • British officers ate asparagus and oysters, their tables draped in linen napery, to the strains of “a full military orchestra wailing for the Swanee Ribber.”

    Three Empires on the Nile

Comments

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  • "Lunch was in the dining room which would not have disgraced a moderately good hotel as a dining room. It was spacious with good napery and silverware, and the food was very good."

    - 'Windfall', Desmond Bagley.

    January 6, 2008

  • The little table in the adjoining room, on which Theron found his meal in waiting for him, seemed a vision of delicate napery and refined appointments in his eyes.

    - Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware, ch. 29

    August 8, 2008

  • "Although The Cookery Year assumed that cooks had enough silver cutlery for five courses, starched linen napery and brightly polished crystal... it contained recipes that a growing band of cooks were aspiring to make...."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 366

    January 19, 2017