Ker"chief (?), n.; pl. Kerchiefs (#). [OE. coverchef, OF. cuevrechief, couvrechef, F. couvrechef, a head covering, fr. couvrir to cover + OF. chief head, F. chef. See Cover, Chief, and cf. Curfew.]


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; as, neckerchief; breastkerchief; and later, handkerchief.

He might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape. Shak.

Her black hair strained away To a scarlet kerchief caught beneath her chin. Mrs. Browning.


A lady who wears a kerchief.



© Webster 1913.