- a small piece of linen, silk, or other fabric, usually square, and used especially for wiping one's nose, eyes, face, etc., or for decorative purposes.
- a neckerchief or kerchief.
Origin of handkerchief
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for handkerchief
Waving a silk cloth, he declared, “Gentlemen, I will have this land just as surely as I now have this handkerchief.”Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
Being polite “is using your handkerchief, but not just to wave goodbye from the platform.”Paris’s New Metro Etiquette Manual is a Rosetta Stone for Travelers
December 8, 2013
“Now to say that I tried to convince Judd to stay is an understatement,” McConnell said, wielding a handkerchief.
When the mood struck, Guy would pick the strings with his teeth, or slap a handkerchief against the guitar for effect.‘When I Left Home’: The Life of Buddy Guy
June 7, 2012
That handkerchief reveals the precision that is Lee at her best.Must-Reads: 'The Fat Years,' 'Drifting House,' and 'The Map and the Territory'
Isaac Stone Fish, Anna Clark, Cameron Martin
January 30, 2012
Let it go and tuck in your handkerchief like the rest of us.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I was so enraged that she was not there, I wished to cover my face with my handkerchief.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
He said, 'Throw your handkerchief to whichever of us you love.'Viviette
William J. Locke
I was forced to turn my face from them, and pull out my handkerchief.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
And when he had told her all, she sat silent, rolling her handkerchief in her fingers.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- a small square of soft absorbent material, such as linen, silk, or soft paper, carried and used to wipe the nose, etc
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
Word Origin and History for handkerchief
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper