/pen"nuyf'/, n., pl. penknives.
a small pocketknife, formerly one used for making and sharpening quill pens.
[1400-50; late ME; see PEN1, KNIFE]

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Penknife — Pen knife , n.; pl. {Penknives}. [Pen + knife.] A small pocketknife; formerly, a knife used for making and mending quill pens. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • penknife — early 15c., from PEN (Cf. pen) (1) + KNIFE (Cf. knife) (n.). So called because such small knives were used to sharpen quills …   Etymology dictionary

  • penknife — ► NOUN ▪ a small knife with a blade which folds into the handle …   English terms dictionary

  • penknife — [pen′nīf΄] n. pl. penknives [pen′nīvz΄] a small pocketknife; originally, one used in making quill pens …   English World dictionary

  • Penknife — A penknife or pen knife is a small folding pocket knife, originally used for cutting or sharpening a quill to make a pen nib. [penknife, Oxford English Dictionary Online, Oxford University Press, 2006 03; accessed 2007 12 25] It may have single… …   Wikipedia

  • penknife — UK [ˈpenˌnaɪf] / US noun [countable] Word forms penknife : singular penknife plural penknives UK [ˈpenˌnaɪvz] / US a small knife with one or more blades that fold into the handle …   English dictionary

  • penknife — [[t]pe̱nnaɪf[/t]] penknives N COUNT A penknife is a small knife with a blade that folds back into the handle …   English dictionary

  • penknife — noun Etymology: Middle English; from its original use for mending quill pens Date: 15th century a small pocketknife usually with only one blade …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • penknife — noun A small pocketknife; a small knife with a blade which folds into the hand. Penknives often incorporate other tools such as corkscrews, and are generally smaller than pocketknives as a group …   Wiktionary

  • penknife — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. pocketknife, jackknife, Boy Scout knife, Barlow knife; see knife …   English dictionary for students

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