from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A square scarf, often worn as a head covering.
  • noun A handkerchief.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To attire with a kerchief; hood.
  • noun A head-dress composed of a simple square or oblong piece of linen, silk, or other material, worn folded, tied, pinned, or otherwise fastened about the head, or more or less loosely attached, so as to cover or drape the head and shoulders.
  • noun A similar square of linen, cotton, or silk, worn on or used about the person for other purposes than covering the head. Compare handkerchief, neckerchief, and napkin.
  • noun One who wears a kerchief; a woman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A square of fine linen worn by women as a covering for the head; hence, anything similar in form or material, worn for ornament on other parts of the person; -- mostly used in compounds
  • noun A lady who wears a kerchief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun old-fashioned A piece of cloth used to cover the head.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a square scarf that is folded into a triangle and worn over the head or about the neck


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English coverchef, curchef, from Anglo-Norman courchief (variant of Old French couvrechef) and from Old French couvrechef : covrir, to cover; see cover + chef, head; see chief.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French couvrechief, from couvrir ("to cover") + chief ("head").


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  • Good luck with everything this week – and the kerchief is adorable

    Creative Every Day, Part 11: Recovery « Looking for Roots 2010

  • She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Frank asked Nur al-Din anent the maker of the kerchief, he answered, saying, “In very sooth this kerchief is the handiwork of my mother, who made it for me with her own hand.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • To prevent such a calamity, the kerchief is worn hooded over the eyes, so as to exclude unholy sights.

    The Promised Land 1912

  • Though she was in kerchief and mantle, and appeared to more than usual advantage in that négligé, the prince affected not to look at her, but talked continually about his business to her husband, who had always had the management of it.

    The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre 1855

  • 82This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the action suggests its meaning.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • 491 But one of the merchants said to him, Know thou, O my son, that the value of this kerchief is an hundred dinars at most and that to an eager purchaser, and if this Frank pay thee down a thousand for it, thy profit will be nine hundred dinars, and what gain canst thou desire greater than this gain?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • [FN#82] This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the action suggests its meaning.

    Arabian nights. English Anonymous 1855

  • I heard your plan, and I did follow you in the poncho and kerchief, meaning to hold up the stage first, and leave it to Crosby and Curtis to prove you did it.

    Ranson's Folly Richard Harding Davis 1890

  • Married women wear coarse chemises and aprons of homespun linen; and their braided hair coiled on top of the head imparts a coronet shape to the gay cotton kerchief which is folded across the brow and knotted at the nape of the neck.

    Russian Rambles Isabel Florence Hapgood 1889

  • A picture of Christ in the mourning widow's chamber; a "mater dolorosa," in the distracted mother's home; a "kerchief" of the Holy Virgin, spotlessly white, like the glorious spirit, above the bed of olden times, are surely elevating, and honorable presences, the recollections which lead us to them are holy and imperishable, as is the devotion which bows the knee before them.

    Debts of Honor M��r J��kai 1864


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