a plural of scarf1. Unabridged


1 [skahrf]
noun, plural scarfs, scarves [skahrvz] .
a long, broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc.; muffler.
a necktie or cravat with hanging ends.
a long cover or ornamental cloth for a bureau, table, etc.
verb (used with object)
to cover or wrap with or as if with a scarf.
to use in the manner of a scarf.

1545–55; perhaps special use of scarf2

scarfless, adjective
scarflike, adjective


2 [skahrf] .
noun, plural scarfs.
a tapered or otherwise-formed end on each of the pieces to be assembled with a scarf joint.
Whaling. a strip of skin along the body of the whale.
verb (used with object)
to assemble with a scarf joint.
to form a scarf on (the end of a timber).
Steelmaking. to burn away the surface defects of (newly rolled steel).
Whaling. to make a groove in and remove (the blubber and skin).
Also, scarph (for defs 1, 3, 4).

1490–1500; < Old Norse skarfr (derivative of skera to cut) end cut from a beam (hence perhaps a piece of cloth cut off, i.e., scarf1); compare Swedish skarv patch

scarfer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scarf1 (skɑːf)
n , pl scarves, scarfs
1.  a rectangular, triangular, or long narrow piece of cloth worn around the head, neck, or shoulders for warmth or decoration
2.  to wrap with or as if with a scarf
3.  to use as or in the manner of a scarf
[C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Norman French escarpe, Medieval Latin scrippum pilgrim's pack; see scrip²]

scarf2 (skɑːf)
n , pl scarfs
1.  scarf joint, Also called: scarfed joint a lapped joint between two pieces of timber made by notching or grooving the ends and strapping, bolting, or gluing the two pieces together
2.  the end of a piece of timber shaped to form such a joint
3.  (NZ) a wedge-shaped cut made in a tree before felling, to determine the direction of the fall
4.  whaling an incision made along a whale's body before stripping off the blubber
5.  to join (two pieces of timber) by means of a scarf
6.  to make a scarf on (a piece of timber)
7.  to cut a scarf in (a whale)
[C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian skarv, Swedish skarf, Low German, Dutch scherfscarf1]

scarves (skɑːvz)
a plural of scarf

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"strip of cloth," 1555, "a band worn across the body or over the shoulders," probably from O.N.Fr. escarpe "sash, sling," which probably is identical with O.Fr. escherpe "pilgrim's purse suspended from the neck," perhaps from Frank. *skirpja, from a Gmc. source (cf. O.N. skreppa "small bag, wallet, satchel"),
or from M.L. scirpa "little bag woven of rushes," from L. scirpus "rush, bulrush," of unknown origin. As a cold-weather covering for the neck, first recorded 1844. Plural form scarfs began to yield to scarves early 18c., on model of half/halves, etc.

"connecting joint," 1276, probably from O.N. skarfr "nail for fastening a joint." A general North Sea Gmc. ship-building word (cf. Du. scherf, Swed. skarf, Norw. skarv), the exact relationship of all these is unclear. Also borrowed into Romanic (cf. Fr. écart, Sp. escarba); perhaps ult. from P.Gmc.
*skerf-, *skarf- (cf. O.E. sceorfan "to gnaw, bite").

"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from scoff (attested in a similar sense from 1846). Or perhaps from a dial. survival of O.E. sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (2)); a similar word is found in a S.African
context in the 1600s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The pieces in the exhibit are far from knitted scarves and ceramic cups.
Our department chair has a flair for brightly coloured corduroy and scarves.
Out in the burbs, there's nothing to cut the gales, and they find the chinks in
  your long underwear and scarves.
She was bundled up, a thick woolen cap drawn over her head, and two scarves
  covering much of her face.
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