\ 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

Competing with her for the most quivering coif is Henry Czerny as Grace’s increasingly hysterical father-in-law, while Adam Brody sets the tone with his signature smirkiness as reluctant brother-in-law Daniel. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "1-percenter slasher flick ‘Ready or Not’ too sardonic to be taken seriously as satire," 20 Aug. 2019 In Ethiopia, women don the coif for weddings and weave them into their hair to symbolize community. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Watch ‘Primp’: 4 Ways To Style Your Braids For Festival Season," 5 June 2019 Her hair was styled into an old Hollywood-esque blonde bob that gave off serious Marilyn Monroe vibes, and the coif was dotted with diamonds. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Wore Diamonds in Her Hair For Her “Money” Music Video," 29 Oct. 2018 No one does wardrobe essentials quite like French women: think of Brigitte Bardot posing seaside in a classic Breton stripe shirt or Catherine Deneuve with a scarf tied around her coif just so. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "How to Do Back-to-School Shopping Like a French Girl," 27 Aug. 2018 The crowd is mostly dressed in business attire, but Auteri is wearing medieval-style armor: a shirt of steel-link mail, a mail coif on his head, plate armor on his shoulders and white linen robes emblazoned with a red cross. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 To balance out her colorful coif, the actress went with barely-there makeup. Wendy Sy, Allure, "Paris Jackson Tries the Unicorn Hair Trend on for Size," 9 Apr. 2018 There's silver glitter on her eyelids, perfect black liner, and, of course, her signature coif of platinum blonde hair that has become her most recognizable feature. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "How Betty Who Is Redefining What it Means to Be an "Iconic Blonde"," 29 Mar. 2018 The Look: Catroux in her everyday coif: poker straight and heavily banged. Vogue, "The Best Wedding Hair Styles of All Time, From Brigitte Bardot to Diana Ross," 6 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 As far as the latter was concerned, the nightclub’s bathroom was merely an extension of the party, serving as a communal boudoir where stars could get coiffed in style. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Watch Yara Shahidi, Lily Collins, and More Stars Touch Up Their Met Gala After-Party Makeup," 9 May 2018 The three-time Vogue cover girl was spotted tonight in New York City with her hair coiffed back into a low chignon, careful not to distract from her supernaturally high-beam skin. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Lupita Nyong’o Proves Why Good Skin Beats the Best Makeup at Calvin Klein," 8 Sep. 2017 Within minutes, the entire dinner group has arrived, including John and Jackie Middelkamp, Beth Ingram and Edward Milbank, Annette and Pete Sherrow, all beautifully coiffed, bejeweled and outfitted in luxury fabrics. Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, kansascity, "Take a peek inside this fabulous KC Plaza penthouse dinner party for a good cause," 13 Oct. 2017 His hair is flawlessly coiffed, his beard and mustache so precisely trimmed that not one hair is out of place. Jamie Lisanti,, "Henrik Lundqvist brings his classic style—and a bit of European flair—to the NHL," 13 July 2017

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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Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for coif

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

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English Language Learners Definition of coif

: to cut and arrange someone's hair

More from Merriam-Webster on coif

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coif

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

Comments on coif

What made you want to look up coif? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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