[ skahrf ]
See synonyms for: scarfscarfedscarfingscarves on

noun,plural scarfs, scarves [skahrvz]. /skɑrvz/.
  1. a long, broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc.

  2. a necktie or cravat with hanging ends.

  1. a long cover or ornamental cloth for a bureau, table, etc.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or wrap with or as if with a scarf.

  2. to use in the manner of a scarf.

Origin of scarf

First recorded in 1545–55; of uncertain origin; perhaps special use of scarf3

Other words from scarf

  • scarfless, adjective
  • scarflike, adjective

Other definitions for scarf (2 of 3)

[ skahrf ]

verb (used with or without object)Slang.
  1. to eat, especially voraciously (often followed by down or up): to scarf down junk food.

Origin of scarf

An Americanism dating to 1955–60; variant of scoff2, probably a respelling by r-less speakers

Other definitions for scarf (3 of 3)

[ skahrf ]

noun,plural scarfs.
  1. a tapered or otherwise-formed end on each of the pieces to be assembled with a scarf joint.

  2. Whaling. a strip of skin along the body of the whale.

verb (used with object)
  1. to assemble with a scarf joint.

  2. to form a scarf on (the end of a timber).

  1. Steelmaking. to burn away the surface defects of (newly rolled steel).

  2. Whaling. to make a groove in and remove (the blubber and skin).

Origin of scarf

First recorded in 1490–1500; probably from Old Norse skarfr (derivative of skera “to cut”) “beveled edge, end cut from a beam” (hence perhaps “a piece of cloth cut off, a scarf”; see scarf1)
  • Also scarph (for defs. 1, 3, 4) .

Other words from scarf

  • scarfer, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scarf in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scarf (1 of 2)


/ (skɑːf) /

nounplural scarves (skɑːvz) or scarfs
  1. a rectangular, triangular, or long narrow piece of cloth worn around the head, neck, or shoulders for warmth or decoration

verb(tr) rare
  1. to wrap with or as if with a scarf

  2. to use as or in the manner of a scarf

Origin of scarf

C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Norman French escarpe, Medieval Latin scrippum pilgrim's pack; see scrip ²

British Dictionary definitions for scarf (2 of 2)


/ (skɑːf) /

nounplural scarfs
  1. Also called: scarf joint, scarfed joint a lapped joint between two pieces of timber made by notching or grooving the ends and strapping, bolting, or gluing the two pieces together

  2. the end of a piece of timber shaped to form such a joint

  1. NZ a wedge-shaped cut made in a tree before felling, to determine the direction of the fall

  2. whaling an incision made along a whale's body before stripping off the blubber

  1. to join (two pieces of timber) by means of a scarf

  2. to make a scarf on (a piece of timber)

  1. to cut a scarf in (a whale)

Origin of scarf

C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian skarv, Swedish skarf, Low German, Dutch scherf scarf 1

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