ker·​chief | \ ˈkər-chəf How to pronounce kerchief (audio) , -ˌchēf \
plural kerchiefs\ ˈkər-​chəfs How to pronounce kerchiefs (audio) , -​ˌchēfs \ also kerchieves\ ˈkər-​ˌchēvz How to pronounce kerchieves (audio) \

Definition of kerchief

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

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Other Words from kerchief

kerchiefed \ ˈkər-​chəft How to pronounce kerchiefed (audio) , -​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 Who doesn’t love seeing a dog wearing a jaunty kerchief? Christine Hayes, USA TODAY, "20 things you need if you're obsessed with your pet," 25 June 2020 The image of Aunt Jemima has long been debated, even forcing the brand in recent years to change Aunt Jemima’s likeness from a mammy caricature with a kerchief on her head to a more modern woman with pearls and delicate curls. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Aunt Jemima’s Name And Likeness To Be Removed From Product Packaging," 17 June 2020 In 1989, for example, the brand removed the kerchief from the Aunt Jemima figure. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Aunt Jemima brand looks to shed its racist roots with vow to change name and logo," 17 June 2020 To make the mask, the actor says to start by laying out your kerchief face down on a flat surface, folding down the top and bottom halves to meet in the center of the fabric. Gabrielle Chung,, "Colin Hanks Shows Fans How to Make a Sewing-Free Face Mask After Dad Recovers from Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 An elderly woman in kerchief and apron spread a cloth on the sidewalk to display a few scallions and bottles of milk and yogurt. Frances D’emilio,, "Ukraine’s Chernivtsi a charming city of architectural gems," 4 Oct. 2019 Today, old ladies wearing kerchiefs and crocheted skirts navigate the road with canes and a slow step. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Voyage to the Center of the World," 9 July 2019 One features a black Labrador dog with a red kerchief tied around its neck. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, "Chile: Notes from a Revolt," 13 Mar. 2020 Prisoners, presumably fellow Roma to judge from their kerchiefs, peer from their barracks as the kapos wield their bullwhips, while wraithlike captives walk single-file past a cart full of corpses. Jason Farago, New York Times, "The Survivor of Auschwitz Who Painted a Forgotten Genocide," 27 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for kerchief

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for kerchief

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kerchief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for kerchief


How to pronounce kerchief (audio)

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 How to pronounce kerchief (audio) \
plural kerchiefs

Kids Definition of kerchief

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

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