Definition of penknife in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpenˌnīf/

noun (plural penknives /-ˌnīvz/)

A small pocketknife with a blade that folds into the handle.
Example sentences
  • A sharp implement (a penknife or small screwdriver blade) driven into the timber would have had little resistance on entry or removal.
  • The washbag should only contain absolute musts and with the current climate no scissors, razor blades, penknives, etc unless you want them confiscated.
  • Some people do happen to have things like penknives in their pocket when they come into court.


So named because originally used for making and mending quill pens.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pen·knife

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