[ kur-chif, -cheef ]
See synonyms for kerchief on
  1. a woman's square scarf worn as a covering for the head or sometimes the shoulders.

Origin of kerchief

1250–1300; Middle English kerchef, syncopated variant of keverchef<Old French cuevrechef literally, (it) covers (the) head. See cover, chief

Other words from kerchief

  • kerchiefed, kerchieft, adjective

Words Nearby kerchief Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use kerchief in a sentence

  • A large woman with her head tied in a kerchief, wearing a purple wrapper and gold house slippers, passes by on the sidewalk.

  • Wilding alone—the butt of their expostulations—stood quietly smiling, and wiped his face at last with a kerchief of finest lawn.

    Mistress Wilding | Rafael Sabatini
  • But she went to a settle hard by and swept aside a kerchief which lay on it as if by chance, and under it were two war arrows.

    A Prince of Cornwall | Charles W. Whistler
  • The girl turned back to the fire and put out a little foot for us to see, muffled now in the red folds of the kerchief.

    The Way of a Man | Emerson Hough
  • From beneath a sort of kerchief which she wore on her head escaped in profusion light golden hair.

    Michael Strogoff | Jules Verne
  • A smock covered her into shapelessness, and her spectacular hair was bound up in a kerchief, but she still looked good.

    Security | Poul William Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for kerchief


/ (ˈkɜːtʃɪf) /

  1. a piece of cloth worn tied over the head or around the neck

Origin of kerchief

C13: from Old French cuevrechef, from covrir to cover + chef head; see chief

Derived forms of kerchief

  • kerchiefed, adjective

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