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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Synonyms for handkerchief

Synonyms

babushka, bandanna (or bandana), do-rag, kerchief, madras, mantilla

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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

Now, Conte — known for his soft-spoken approach and passion for pocket handkerchiefs and brightly colored ties — has grabbed the chance to emerge out of Salvini’s shadow, replacing Di Maio as the real leader of the struggling 5-Stars. Washington Post, "Italy’s soft-spoken Conte raises his voice, wins new mandate," 30 Aug. 2019 Basco remained, wearing a Ford baseball cap and blue checkered shirt and holding a handkerchief and a flower. Lissandra Villa/el Paso, Time, "Beto O'Rourke Finds His Voice Helping El Paso Grieve," 11 Aug. 2019 For application, Henriksen suggests wrapping an ice cube in a thin cotton handkerchief and massaging it across the skin. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Kate Moss’s Secret Facial Remedy Is Already in Your Freezer," 12 June 2019 Drejka, who could get 30 years, looked down after the verdict was read then wiped his brow with a blue handkerchief. Terry Spencer And Mike Schneider, USA TODAY, "Florida man convicted in parking lot shooting of black man," 24 Aug. 2019 Drejka, who could get 30 years, looked down after the verdict was read then wiped his brow with a blue handkerchief. Terry Spencer, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida man convicted in handicap parking spot shooting of black man," 23 Aug. 2019 His parents’ birthday gifts — slacks, a dress shirt and handkerchiefs — are not going to help him on any of these fronts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Why the star of a new Bruce Springsteen-inspired movie is all of us," 16 Aug. 2019 Rainy’s grandmother, Nancy Long of Ramona, said Rainy wears her great-grandfather’s necklace and white handkerchief as part of her princess regalia. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Six-year-old crowned Little Miss Okla Chahta Princess," 2 Aug. 2019 He was recorded jumping over a bull while wearing the traditional white shirt and red handkerchief. Lila Bromberg, USA TODAY, "Redskins CB Josh Norman runs with bulls in Spain, leaps over one," 11 July 2019

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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Statistics for handkerchief

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handkerchief

The first known use of handkerchief was in 1530

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More Definitions for handkerchief

handkerchief

noun

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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Comments on handkerchief

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