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 handkerchief (audio)
-(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

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 Wear protective clothing outside, such as sturdy shoes, cotton or wool clothing, long pants and a shirt, gloves and a handkerchief over your face. Katie Langford, The Denver Post, 5 July 2024 The flag should also not be embroidered on items such as cushions, handkerchiefs and the like, impressed on paper napkins or boxes or otherwise printed as a design for temporary use and discard. John Tufts, The Indianapolis Star, 2 July 2024 Rocking Burberry shorts and a matching handkerchief that covered the lower half of his face, the Irish actor looked positively giddy when Carpenter threw a sultry wave his way during her set. Waiss Aramesh, Rolling Stone, 17 June 2024 The exhibit also has the contents of Lincoln's pockets from the night he was assassinated, including a pocket watch, two pairs of glasses, a handkerchief, and a billfold with his name. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 15 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for handkerchief 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'handkerchief.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of handkerchief was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near handkerchief

Cite this Entry

“Handkerchief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handkerchief. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

handkerchief

noun
hand·​ker·​chief ˈhaŋ-kər-chəf How to pronounce handkerchief (audio)
-(ˌ)chif,
-ˌchēf
plural handkerchiefs also handkerchieves -chəfs How to pronounce handkerchief (audio)
-(ˌ)chifs,
-ˌchēvz,
-ˌchēfs,
-ˌchəvz,
-ˌchivz
1
: a small piece of cloth used for wiping the face, nose, or eyes
2

More from Merriam-Webster on handkerchief

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