handkerchief

noun hand·ker·chief \ ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf , -(ˌ)chif , -ˌchēf \
Updated on: 4 Apr 2018

Definition of handkerchief

plural handkerchiefs also handkerchieves play \ˈhaŋ-kər-chəfs, -(ˌ)chifs, -ˌchēvz, -ˌchēfs, -chəvz, -(ˌ)chivz\
1 : a small usually square piece of cloth used for usually personal purposes (such as blowing the nose) or as a clothing accessory
2 : kerchief 1

Examples of handkerchief in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of handkerchief from the Web

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.

First Known Use of handkerchief

1530

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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handkerchief Synonyms

Related Words

shawl;

hankie (or hanky);


HANDKERCHIEF Defined for English Language Learners

handkerchief

Definition of handkerchief for English Language Learners

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


HANDKERCHIEF Defined for Kids

handkerchief

noun hand·ker·chief \ ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf \

Definition of handkerchief for Students

plural handkerchiefs \-chəfs\
: 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.



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