handkerchief

noun
hand·​ker·​chief | \ ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf How to pronounce handkerchief (audio) , -(ˌ)chif, -ˌchēf \
plural handkerchiefs also handkerchieves\ ˈhaŋ-​kər-​chəfs How to pronounce handkerchieves (audio) , -​(ˌ)chifs , -​ˌchēvz , -​ˌchēfs , -​chəvz , -​(ˌ)chivz \

Definition of handkerchief

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

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Examples of handkerchief in a Sentence

tied a handkerchief around her head and set about cleaning out the dust-covered attic usually dries her hands on her handkerchief when there are no towels available
Recent Examples on the Web Or another item, such as a microfiber cloth or handkerchief? Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Preparing for an unlikely etiquette scenario," 15 Sep. 2020 Even worse: In the grainy shot, taken at a chaotic press conference, de Guzman is wearing sunglasses and covering his face with a handkerchief. Geoff White, Wired, "The 20-Year Hunt for the Man Behind the Love Bug Virus," 12 Sep. 2020 Any thoughts? Learn to perfect slipping them out of your soup and into a handkerchief unnoticed. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: MIL puts best foot forward when making soup," 11 Sep. 2020 And instructions, complete with diagrams, on how to make a mask from a handkerchief. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "How 'things' tell a story: Japan museum portrays coronavirus pandemic life through everyday items," 20 Aug. 2020 Dear Sweet Tradition: My grandfather always carried a handkerchief. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: How to make friends, later in life," 16 Aug. 2020 Dear Sweet Tradition: My grandfather always carried a handkerchief. cleveland, "Dear Annie: I need help making new friends," 16 Aug. 2020 Often, a clue is a signifier with multiple significations: a band of Gypsies, a handkerchief, an adder. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Early Years of Elif Batuman’s Interest in Russian Authors," 10 Aug. 2020 As the soldier weeps into his handkerchief, a cross rises in the sky above the treetops in the shape of the emblematic stars and bars of the Confederacy. Harold Holzer, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Northern Publishers Cashed In on Fundraising for Confederate Monuments," 7 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handkerchief.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handkerchief

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for handkerchief

Time Traveler

The first known use of handkerchief was in 1530

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Statistics for handkerchief

Last Updated

5 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handkerchief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handkerchief. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for handkerchief

handkerchief

noun
How to pronounce handkerchief (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handkerchief

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

handkerchief

noun
hand·​ker·​chief | \ ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf How to pronounce handkerchief (audio) \
plural handkerchiefs\ -​chəfs \

Kids Definition of handkerchief

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

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