\ˈkȯif, in sense 2 also ˈkwäf \

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, ˈkwäf \
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

The structure has been variously described as a rockabilly coif and an aluminum corset (thanks to its skin of 16,000 hexagonal reflective aluminum tiles). Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Discovering the Culture of Mexico City," 18 Oct. 2016 Their colorful new coif was more carefully calculated than your coffee budget. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why It's Such a Big Deal When a K-Pop Star Dyes Their Hair," 21 June 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 Priest’s coif, in all its outlandish glory, is the right hair at the wrong time. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: A New Superfly Gets By on Surface Pleasures—and Great Hair," 13 June 2018 No headscarf, no turban, just a handsome blonde coif. Nojan Aminosharei, Marie Claire, "Aubrey Plaza Was Never April Ludgate," 13 June 2018 The likeness is transformed by curly Roman-style hair, far removed from the 18th-century coif that imparts the iconic Sphinx-like appearance to the Frick’s Gilbert Stuart portrait hanging nearby, not to mention the version on the dollar bill. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Canova’s George Washington’ Review: The Very Model of a Lost Masterpiece," 9 June 2018 The actress’ Ralph Lauren strapless gown was paired with an embellished gold chain mail coif reminiscent of a medieval knight, an emphatic nod to the theme of the night, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Cady Lang, Time, "Priyanka Chopra Stuns in an Elegant Dress at the 2018 Met Gala," 8 May 2018 She, Molly, and the other girls (Jessie Ennis, Adria Arjona) are mostly here just to soak up Deanna’s positivity and encouragement, and to encourage her in turn to lose the mom coif and bedazzled sweatshirts for fraternity ragers. Tom Russo,, "‘Life of the Party’ is old school, not ‘Old School’," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 As noted by The Sun, some of these wigs were nothing more than landing strips on nude underwear, while others were fully coiffed to match models' sky-high hairstyles. Emily Wang, Allure, "There Were Pubic Wigs, aka Merkins, at New York Fashion Week This Season," 16 Feb. 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 He's perfectly coiffed in a suit, and a pipe rests on the corner of his lips. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "Hugh Hefner’s Legacy as Told Through National Portrait Gallery Artifacts," 29 Sep. 2017 Wives have time, they are coiffed with huge hairspray locks, and petticoated skirts, and kids are watching TV. Nicole Sperling, GQ, "How Guillermo del Toro Crafted a Fish Monster You'll Fall in Love With," 14 Sep. 2017 The front of each pill has Trump’s coifed hair and pursed lips. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "Germany’s orange ecstasy pills have Trump’s name — and face — all over them," 22 Aug. 2017 View Slideshow In 1967, a young David Bowie struck mime-like poses in front of a camera wearing a white cashmere sweater, his blond hair coiffed slightly to the right side of his face. Chloe Fein, The Cut, "Never-Before-Seen Photos of David Bowie," 3 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near coif

cohune oil







Statistics for coif

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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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

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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