Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

handkerchief

play
noun hand·ker·chief \ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf, -(ˌ)chif, -ˌchēf\

Simple Definition of handkerchief

  • : a small cloth used for wiping your face, nose, or eyes

Full Definition of handkerchief

plural hand·ker·chiefs also hand·ker·chievesplay \-chəfs, -(ˌ)chifs, -ˌchēvz, -ˌchēfs, -chəvz, -(ˌ)chivz\

  1. 1 :  a small usually square piece of cloth used for usually personal purposes (as blowing the nose) or as a clothing accessory

  2. 2 :  kerchief 1

Examples of handkerchief

  1. <tied a handkerchief around her head and set about cleaning out the dust-covered attic>

  2. <usually dries her hands on her handkerchief when there are no towels available>



1530

First Known Use of handkerchief

1530


HANDKERCHIEF Defined for Kids

handkerchief

play
noun hand·ker·chief \ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf\

Definition of handkerchief

plural hand·ker·chiefs \-chəfs\

  1. :  a small usually square piece of cloth used for wiping the face, nose, or eyes



Headscratcher for handkerchief

The “d” in handkerchief is silent, but you can remember that it's there because you can hold a handkerchief in your hand.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up handkerchief? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet spindrift kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ