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

penknife

play
noun pen·knife \ˈpen-ˌnīf\

Simple Definition of penknife

  • : a small knife with a folding blade

Full Definition of penknife

  1. :  a small pocketknife usually with only one blade

Origin of penknife

Middle English; from its original use for mending quill pens


First Known Use: 15th century


PENKNIFE Defined for Kids

penknife

play
noun pen·knife \ˈpen-ˌnīf\

Definition of penknife

plural pen·knives \-ˌnīvz\

  1. :  a small jackknife




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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 spindrift duvet 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