noun (plural handkerchiefs or handkerchieves /ˈhaŋkətʃiːvz/)
- He sits repeatedly wiping his nose on his handkerchief, and then spreading it out on his lap like a napkin.
- I blew my nose in a napkin and blew my nose again on his handkerchief.
- Now, however, he was too ill to notice it - how the people in the car began to gasp and sputter, to put handkerchiefs to their noses, and transfix him with furious glances.
kerchief from Middle English:
The early spelling was kerchef, from Old French cuevrechief, from couvrir ‘to cover’ and chief ‘head’. It was formerly used to describe a woman's head-dress, a type of cloth covering over the hair. The word was used meaning ‘cloth’ as the second element of handkerchief from the mid 16th century.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: hand|ker¦chief
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