\ ˈkȯif How to pronounce coif (audio) , in sense 2 also ˈkwäf How to pronounce coif (audio) \

Definition of coif

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a close-fitting cap: such as
a : a hoodlike cap worn under a veil by nuns
b : a protective usually metal skullcap formerly worn under a hood of mail
c : a white cap formerly worn by English lawyers and especially by serjeants-at-law also : the order or rank of a serjeant-at-law
2 : coiffure … wore her hair teased into a dramatic coif.— Lawrence Wright


\ ˈkȯif How to pronounce coif (audio) , ˈkwäf How to pronounce coif (audio) \
coiffed or coifed; coiffing or coifing

Definition of coif (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover or dress with or as if with a coif
2 [after French coiffer — more at coiffure] : to arrange (hair) by brushing, combing, or curling Her long blonde hair was nicely coifed.

Examples of coif in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the time, the Queen of Pop boasted a Marilyn Monroe-style coif, and was snapping and singing with her backup dancers, all while wrapped in the American flag. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "A Look Back at the Very ’90s “Rock the Vote” Campaign," 2 Nov. 2020 After sharing a video that gives fans a closer look at her new coif, Destiny uploaded a photo of herself and punctuated that caption with smiley faces and heart emojis. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Ryan Destiny Shows Off Her Sexy New Do," 7 July 2020 Her visible eyebrow—the one not covered by the patch—disappeared into her coif. Emma Donoghue, The Atlantic, "The Blood Tax," 12 May 2020 The 21-year-old, who was scouted on Facebook, made her exclusive runway debut yesterday in the Italian house’s fall 2020 collection—thanks, in no small part, to her boyish coif, which was to dramatic effect by for the occasion. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Meet the Model Whose “James Dean” Haircut Landed Her a Spot on the Prada Runway," 21 Feb. 2020 Adding texture to your tresses and coloring your coif are a few easy and stylish ways to switch things up. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Jada Pinkett Smith's New Hair Is Cut and Color Goals," 9 Jan. 2020 Dressed habitually in blue, with a snowy white coif, manicured fingernails, a perpetually wide smile and a glass of Champagne always in hand, Michou was instantly recognizable in France, in part from his many television appearances. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Michou, Whose Drag Cabaret Was the Toast of Paris, Dies at 88," 27 Jan. 2020 The hair jewelry trend took off a few seasons ago, but rings, pearls and blinged out barrettes are back to spice up coifs from the run-way to reality. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Tail-Blazing," 16 Jan. 2020 However, the cools coifs weren’t the only thing that caught our eye. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Celebrities Stunned On The Red Carpet At The 'Queen & Slim' Premiere," 15 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb More specialized professions emerged, including that of the hairdresser, who would visit women in their homes to cut and coif their hair. Marc Bain, Quartz, "We lose more than just haircuts when barbershops and salons are closed," 27 Apr. 2020 In this key moment, Emma’s humanity bleeds through her perfectly coiffed, ironed and embroidered facade. The Conversation, "Perfection comes at a price in latest adaptation of Austen’s ‘Emma’," 27 Mar. 2020 Her blond hair coifed, she was dressed in a navy cashmere turtleneck and jeans, a baroque pearl slung from a diamond chain around her neck, and alternated between burbling conspiratorial laughter and a cleareyed appraisal of what lies ahead. New York Times, "The Party Girl, Till the End," 7 Nov. 2019 Kirby, looking beautifully coiffed and made up even at her most bruised and battered, is the obvious cast standout, stealing scene after scene from Johnson and Statham in what amounts to a kind of cinematic grand larceny. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ doesn’t quite hit that ‘Fast & Furious’ sweet spot," 1 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, 14 stylists are coiffing the hordes of background players using about 50 wigs designated for extras. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How ‘Pose’ perfectly re-creates the queer ball culture of 1990 New York," 2 Aug. 2019 Shirley, in her tank top and streaked hair, looked uneasy among the professionally dressed and well-coifed podcast hosts staffing the booths. Author: Britt Peterson, Anchorage Daily News, "Victims, families and America’s thirst for true-crime stories," 31 July 2019 When done coiffing your face, use it in the shower to groom everything else. Jason Diamond, WSJ, "The Best Beard Trimmers for Each Man’s Grooming Quirks," 21 Nov. 2018 The hairstylist clipped the top of Bieber’s coif back and appeared to daintily trim the edges as a top-knot touting Baldwin sat patiently beside him. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Did Justin Bieber Just Get a Wedding Chop?," 9 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coif.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coif


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coif


Middle English coife, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to early Medieval Latin cofea, cuphia, of uncertain origin


Middle English coifen, derivative of coife coif entry 1

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Time Traveler for coif

Time Traveler

The first known use of coif was in the 14th century

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Statistics for coif

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coif.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for coif


How to pronounce coif (audio) How to pronounce coif (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coif

: to cut and arrange someone's hair

More from Merriam-Webster on coif

Nglish: Translation of coif for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about coif

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