ker·chief | \ˈkər-chəf, -ˌchēf\
plural kerchiefs\ˈkər-chəfs, -ˌchēfs \ also kerchieves\ˈkər-ˌchēvz \

Definition of kerchief 

1 : a square of cloth used as a head covering or worn as a scarf around the neck

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from kerchief

kerchiefed \ˈkər-chəft, -ˌchēft \ adjective

Examples of kerchief in a Sentence

tied the kerchief around her head to keep her hair out of her face dabbed the sweat on his brow with a kerchief

Recent Examples on the Web

Image Injera is a certainty at every Ethiopian meal and the measure of every Ethiopian restaurant: floppy, featherweight flatbread as thin as a kerchief, with the sepia tinge of an old photograph. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Makina Cafe, Ethiopian Takeaway With Buoyant Injera," 28 June 2018 For machanka, hunks of rib, shoulder and a peasant-style sausage made in-house are left to commune in a pot for hours and presented with draniki or kerchiefs of blini, the better to soak up the stew. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Belarussian Xata, Hearty Fare to Keep the Spirits Light," 22 Feb. 2018 An older guy in his corporate uniform of blue button down and black dress pants wiped a bead of sweat off his brow with a kerchief. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "10 Virgil Abloh Fans Share Their Hopes for His Louis Vuitton Debut," 21 June 2018 Surveillance footage shows the robber, who wears a black kerchief over part of his face, walk into the donut shop about 30 seconds into the video and pull out a gun. Laura Mcknight,, "Video shows armed robbery at donut shop near Dillard: NOPD," 24 Apr. 2018 Put a Scarf on It Scarf dressing has emerged as a major ready-to-wear trend, but the idea of turning a silk kerchief into a seasonal must-have doesn’t end with your dress. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Best Accessories of 2018 Are Larger Than Life," 22 Mar. 2018 Lopez’s hair was cropped short, tucked under a white kerchief, a requirement of her Santeria apprenticeship. Sarah Betancourt, Longreads, "The Religion No One Talks About: My Search For Answers in an Old Caribbean Faith," 30 Mar. 2018 The men wore good suits, some with a neat kerchief poked into a breast pocket. Mary Schmich,, "As a North Side historic African-American church moves on, a dance company moves in," 23 Mar. 2018 Russian concept store owner Olga Karput also kicked back in style, hanging out like a Vetements babushka with a head kerchief and floral gloves. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Kim Kardashian West Wears Sparkly Underwear, Bella Hadid Channels the Future," 27 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of kerchief

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kerchief

Middle English courchef, from Anglo-French coverchef, cuerchief, from coverir to cover + chef head — more at chief

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kerchief

Dictionary Entries near kerchief







Kerch Strait

Statistics for kerchief

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kerchief

The first known use of kerchief was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kerchief



English Language Learners Definition of kerchief

: a square piece of cloth that is worn around your neck or as a covering for your head


ker·chief | \ˈkər-chəf \
plural kerchiefs

Kids Definition of kerchief

: a square of cloth worn as a head covering or as a scarf

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on kerchief

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!