AskDefine | Define kleenex

Dictionary Definition

Kleenex n : a piece of soft absorbent paper (usually two or more thin layers) used as a disposable handkerchief

User Contributed Dictionary

see Kleenex



From the brand, Kleenex, a popular brand of tissues.


  • IPA: /kli.nɛks/


  1. A generic term for a tissue, irrespective of brand
    Please could you hand me a kleenex, my nose is running.



A generic term for a tissue, irrespective of brand

Extensive Definition

Kleenex is a brand name for a variety of products such as facial tissue, bathroom tissue, paper towels, and diapers. Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.. It is an invented word, owned and used as a trademark by Kimberly-Clark since June 12, 1924. Kleenex products are manufactured in 30 countries and sold in more than 170. The Kleenex brand name is present throughout the world. Consequently, Kimberly-Clark diligently protects its intellectual property rights by ensuring it and others use the mark correctly, such as Kleenex facial tissue, Kleenex bathroom tissue, Kleenex® paper towels, and Kleenex diapers. However, it is often used as a genericized trademark, especially in the United States.


The material from which Kleenex is made was originally called "Cellucotton," and was designed by Kimberly-Clark during World War I. It came to be used in gas mask filters during the war as a replacement for cotton, which was in high demand for use as a surgical dressing.
The Kimberly-Clark Corporation created the first facial tissue in 1924 and originally marketed them as a way to remove cold cream. A few years after the introduction of Kleenex, the company began receiving a large number of letters from customers suggesting its use for colds and hay fever. By the 1930s, Kleenex was being marketed with the slogan “Don’t Carry a Cold in Your Pocket” and its utilization as a disposable handkerchief replacement became predominant.
The popularity of the product has led to the use of its name to refer to any facial tissue, regardless of the brand. Many dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster, and Oxford, now include definitions in their publications defining it as such.


External links

kleenex in Spanish: Kleenex
kleenex in French: Kleenex
kleenex in Japanese: クリネックス
kleenex in Portuguese: Kleenex
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