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 With my penknife’s big blade – There was a little one for cutting tobacco. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 25 Dec. 2020 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, 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, 18 Dec. 2019 In this sense a penknife is no different from some very complicated factory machine. Vladimir Nabokov, The New Yorker, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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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Dictionary Entries Near penknife

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Cite this Entry

“Penknife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/penknife. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for penknife

penknife

noun

English Language Learners Definition of penknife

: a small knife with a folding blade : pocketknife

penknife

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

Kids Definition of penknife

: a small jackknife

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