Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kurf] /kɜrf/
a cut or incision made by a saw or the like in a piece of wood.
Mining. a deep cut a few inches high, used to undermine a portion of a coal or mineral seam.
the act of cutting or carving.
verb (used with object)
to make a kerf or kerfs in (a piece of wood, a coal seam, etc.).
Origin of kerf
before 1000; Middle English kerf, kirf, Old English cyrf a cutting (cognate with Old Frisian kerf); akin to carve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for kerf
Historical Examples
  • By letting the saw run in the kerf thus made, you can cut pieces off square.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • The cut is made on the pulling stroke, and hence the kerf can be very narrow.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • Until the kerf is well started, the saw should be held so that the teeth just touch the wood.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • When the kerf is well started, the whole weight of the saw may be applied.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • Where the whole body of the tooth is bent, the saw will run smoothly and easily through the kerf and produce a smooth-cut surface.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • Make the notch, or kerf, large enough to avoid pinching your axe in it.

  • If you start with too narrow a kerf, or notch, before you finish you will be compelled to widen it.

  • The teeth should cut a kerf just wide enough to clear the blade.

    Farm Mechanics Herbert A. Shearer
  • Cut your kerf on the side toward the landing place, let the notch go half-way or a trifle more through the trunk.

  • Little by little the axe bit through the tough wood, until the kerf was well past the heart of the tree.

    Everyday Adventures Samuel Scoville
British Dictionary definitions for kerf


the cut made by a saw, an axe, etc
Word Origin
Old English cyrf a cutting; related to Old English ceorfan to carve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for kerf

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for kerf

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for kerf