Definition of penknife
: a small pocketknife usually with only one blade
Recent Examples of penknife from the Web
Murray gave his approval, and Phipps began the painstaking process of excavating, starting with a brush and a penknife.
To Safeco Field for making me check my small penknife at the gate.
If called on to do so, Inuit techno-aficionados can field-strip and repair their radios in the middle of an ice pack in a minus 40-degree Celsius gale using little more than a penknife.
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.
Origin and Etymology of penknife
Middle English; from its original use for mending quill pens
First Known Use: 1922See Words from the same year
PENKNIFE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of penknife for English Language Learners
: a small knife with a folding blade
PENKNIFE Defined for Kids
Definition of penknife for Students
: a small jackknife
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