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

Beyoncé completed her outfit with a gray bandana worn as a headband that matched Jay-Z’s navy kerchief. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Of Course Beyoncé Is Wearing Jay-Z Merch," 18 July 2018 My kids are not wearing matching costumes, as much as my daughter wanted my son to be an adjacent mouse to her Cinderella, pre-Fairy Godmother, complete with kid-size broom and head kerchief. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Are You Dressing Your Kids for Halloween—or for Instagram?," 30 Oct. 2018 The blue kerchief wrapped loosely around the model’s neck is actually a take on the little red scarves of the ’60s Chinese school uniform, worn under the reign of Chairman Mao. Monica Kim, Vogue, "A New Chinese Expat Label Turns Cross-Cultural Dialogue Into Very Cool Clothes," 4 July 2018 In 1964, Barbara Hulanicki launched her now-iconic clothing line, Biba, as a mail-order business with a tiny pink gingham minidress and matching kerchief, inspired by photos of Bardot in St. Tropez. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "Gingham’s New Chic: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore," 26 July 2018 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

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

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

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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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on kerchief

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kerchief

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kerchief

Spanish Central: Translation of kerchief

Nglish: Translation of kerchief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kerchief for Arabic Speakers

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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