penknife

noun
pen·​knife | \ ˈpen-ˌnīf How to pronounce penknife (audio) \

Definition of penknife

: a small pocketknife usually with only one blade

Examples of penknife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lovers, spouses, and rival siblings fling each other off cliffs into the sea or run one another through with penknives. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Apr. 2020 In one instance he was charged with stabbing a fellow gambler in the abdomen with a penknife. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Earl Tucker, a Dancer Known as ‘Snakehips’," 18 Dec. 2019 In this sense a penknife is no different from some very complicated factory machine. Vladimir Nabokov, The New Yorker, "Man and Things," 8 Nov. 2019 The boys were getting ready to board a bus to a game when two small penknives and a lighter were found in their gear. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Who is Karen Salmon? The state official behind the Verletta White decision," 2 May 2018 The tree was felled 400 or 500 years ago, but scraping away the surface with his penknife, Wohlleben found something astonishing: the stump was still green with chlorophyll. Diàna Markosian, Smithsonian, "Do Trees Talk to Each Other?," 22 Feb. 2018 Murray gave his approval, and Phipps began the painstaking process of excavating, starting with a brush and a penknife. Mike Sager, Smithsonian, "Will the Public Ever Get to See the “Dueling Dinosaurs”?," 29 July 2017 Murray gave his approval, and Phipps began the painstaking process of excavating, starting with a brush and a penknife. Mike Sager, Smithsonian, "Will the Public Ever Get to See the “Dueling Dinosaurs”?," 29 July 2017 Murray gave his approval, and Phipps began the painstaking process of excavating, starting with a brush and a penknife. Mike Sager, Smithsonian, "Will the Public Ever Get to See the “Dueling Dinosaurs”?," 29 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'penknife.' 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 penknife

1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for penknife

Middle English; from its original use for mending quill pens

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Time Traveler for penknife

Time Traveler

The first known use of penknife was in 1922

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Cite this Entry

“Penknife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/penknife. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for penknife

penknife

noun
How to pronounce penknife (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of penknife

: a small knife with a folding blade

penknife

noun
pen·​knife | \ ˈpen-ˌnīf How to pronounce penknife (audio) \
plural penknives\ -​ˌnīvz \

Kids Definition of penknife

: a small jackknife

Comments on penknife

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