Definition of hanky in English:


(also hankie)


  • A handkerchief.

    • ‘From shopping receipts to hankies, napkins to the tiniest scraps of paper became handy as they literally mobbed the Hyderabadi beauty for her signature.’
    • ‘What you do is take a pound coin, place it in the middle of a handkerchief and then twist around the rest of the hanky until it looks like a jellyfish, with the coin being its small, concealed head.’
    • ‘She had on long white gloves and a feather boa, as she sauntered onto the scene clutching her handkerchief she pretended to faint, and drop the hankie.’
    • ‘You know the glass with the stupid hanky inside it?’
    • ‘There are always mums in the audience wiping their eyes with hankies.’
    • ‘If you ever see a man having his hair combed by his mother or his face wiped with a hanky, despite the fact that he's 38, that's Cancer man.’
    • ‘I was brought up to cover my mouth when I had a cough and use a hanky when sneezing.’
    • ‘A last minute purchase from a vendor at Shakthan Bus Stand, two days before he flew down to Abu Dhabi, the hanky had lost all shape and most of its colour, but it still had a sticker with a Thrissur address.’
    • ‘‘Roit,’ said Ladder Man, scraping a hanky over his face to wipe the sweat out of his eyes, ‘you know the lot at number 8?’’
    • ‘More than once, I had to pull out my hanky and wipe my eyes after doubling over from laughter.’
    • ‘The McCartney sisters would have gone up to Stormont or Hillsborough and Mo Mowlam would have lent them a hanky to dry their eyes with and gone back inside to discuss the way forward with Martin McGuinness.’
    • ‘Here inside, a pool of TV and still cameras watched the families with an unblinking but compassionate eye - catching President George W. Bush pass a hanky to the young son of commander Husband.’
    • ‘Has the hanky joined the gold Albert and the gentleman's sovereign-case, objects surviving only as props in The Forsyte Saga and The Importance of Being Earnest?’
    • ‘I've worked my way through heaps of tissues and oversized hankies.’
    • ‘Gone are the handkerchief codes of the seventies, where a hankie in the left pocket indicated a guy was a top, and the right indicated a bottom.’
    • ‘All you will be left with are hankies to wipe your tears.’
    • ‘I had a hanky in my pocket and I started to mop the port up so it wouldn't stain his trousers.’
    • ‘Rumour has it that he nearly choked, but he noticed that a dark ring of dirt developed on the other side of the hanky and went on to develop the first machine.’
    • ‘Are you wiping your screen with a hankie, unsure you read that right?’
    • ‘Senator William Evatts who was noted as a long speaker was making his speech and dragging it out as usual when he stopped for a moment to sneeze, the boy thinking it was over waved the hankie and Bartholdi pulled the cord to release the flag.’


Late 19th century: abbreviation.