What does handkerchief mean?

Definitions for handkerchief
ˈhæŋ kər tʃɪf, -ˌtʃifhand·ker·chief

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word handkerchief.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. handkerchief, hankie, hanky, hankeynoun

    a square piece of cloth used for wiping the eyes or nose or as a costume accessory


  1. handkerchiefnoun

    A piece of cloth, usually square and often fine and elegant, carried for wiping the face, eyes, nose or hands.

  2. handkerchiefnoun

    A piece of cloth shaped like a handkerchief to be worn about the neck; a neckerchief or neckcloth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Handkerchiefnoun

    a piece of cloth, usually square and often fine and elegant, carried for wiping the face or hands

    Etymology: [Hand + kerchief.]

  2. Handkerchiefnoun

    a piece of cloth shaped like a handkerchief to be worn about the neck; a neckerchief; a neckcloth

    Etymology: [Hand + kerchief.]


  1. Handkerchief

    A handkerchief, also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose. A handkerchief is also sometimes used as a purely decorative accessory in a suit pocket. The material of a handkerchief can be symbolic of the social-economic class of the user, not only because some materials are more expensive, but because some materials are more absorbent and practical for those who use a handkerchief for more than style. Handkerchiefs can be made of cotton, cotton-synthetic blend, synthetic fabric, silk, or linen. Handkerchiefs were also used, especially by children, as an impromptu way to carry around small items when a bag or basket was unavailable. They could also serve as a substitute for a bandage over a small injury. In the United Kingdom, the habit of wearing a handkerchief with tied corners on one's head at the beach has become a seaside postcard stereotype, referenced by the Gumby characters in Monty Python's Flying Circus. King Richard II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399, is widely believed to have invented the cloth handkerchief, as surviving documents written by his courtiers describe his use of square pieces of cloth to wipe his nose. Certainly they were in existence by Shakespeare's time, and a handkerchief is an important plot device in his play Othello.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Handkerchief

    hang′kėr-chif, n. a piece of linen, silk, or cotton cloth for wiping the nose, &c.: a neckerchief.—Throw the handkerchief, to call upon next—from the usage in a common game.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Handkerchief

    Anciently a kerchief, which term was a corruption of “Coverchef,” from the French couvrir, to cover, and chef, the head, reserved for hand use in wiping the face, and carried in the left sleeve of the garment. At a later period, until the reign of Elizabeth, when pockets came into vogue, the handkerchief found a place in the pouch worn on the left side of the girdle.

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How to pronounce handkerchief?

How to say handkerchief in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of handkerchief in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of handkerchief in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of handkerchief in a Sentence

  1. Anuj Somany:

    When looters hands are tied with the same handkerchief , they misguide the public by calling each other only a thief.

  2. Rishi Khanal:

    I managed to take out the handkerchief from my pocket, soaked it with my urine and squeezed it in my mouth, it gave me some energy to shout and I survived.

  3. Catholic University of America:

    All of the dresses have certain verifiable characteristics, including, for example, a' secret pocket' on the right side of the pinafore skirt for Dorothy's handkerchief,' Judy Garland' written by hand in a script specific to a single person who labeled all of the extant dresses in the same hand. Apparently, the thin material of the blouse was prone to tearing when Judy Garland as Dorothy took it off after filming, and a seamstress often repaired it before Judy Garland as Dorothy donned it for the next shoot.

  4. Frederick Buechner:

    In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.

  5. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador:

    Look, purely by coincidence I have a white handkerchief.

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Translations for handkerchief

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    expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear expressive language
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