coif·​fure kwä-ˈfyu̇r How to pronounce coiffure (audio)
: a style or manner of arranging the hair
I love his eerily perfect coiffure and his … impish smile …Scott Raab

Did you know?

Coiffure, which is a somewhat fancy way of saying "hairdo," has its roots in the French verb coiffer, which can mean "to arrange (hair)" or "to cover with a coif (any of various close-fitting caps, such as that worn under a veil by a nun)." Be careful not to confuse it with coiffeur, which refers to a person who works as a hairdresser. You may also encounter coif used as a noun to mean "hairstyle" and as a verb in the sense of "to arrange by brushing, combing, or curling" (as in "he had perfectly coifed hair"). In these cases, coif is operating as a shortened form of coiffure.

Example Sentences

with his flashy suit and carefully sculpted coiffure, he looks like a slick car dealer
Recent Examples on the Web The star himself is known for not being afraid to look a bit tousled with his coiffure, which is why Potion No 1 complements his wavy soft hair rather well to nail a slightly unruly, disheveled look. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 11 Jan. 2023 At the top, take note of the bas-reliefs of dancing girls, each with a different and complicated coiffure, and then head over to the windows for some pictures of the landscape, still mostly tourist-less at this hour. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Jan. 2022 On the plus side, Carlson, at his wife's urging, can now get a haircut since his lucky coiffure has run out of magic. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2022 Her youthful style had given way to matronly suits, sensible shoes, quaint hats and an immutable, immovable gray coiffure. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2022 The spa treatments continue—eye masks and moisturizers, shimmer and gelled coiffure—as Styles transforms from potential entreé to performer, albeit briefly. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2022 Rihanna wasn't the only attendee bringing her coiffure A-game. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 27 Oct. 2022 The video for the song stars Lyngstad running through downtown Stockholm, dropping into shops, and generally acting frantic with a crazy raspberry-rinse coiffure. Globe Staff,, 24 June 2022 The mogul even walked the carpet with hair slicked back, perhaps as an homage to Elvis’ coiffure. Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, 30 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French, going back to Middle French, "head covering, adornment of the hair," from coiffer "to cover with a coif, arrange (hair)" (going back to Old French coiffer, coifer, derivative of coife coif entry 1) + -ure -ure

First Known Use

circa 1631, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coiffure was circa 1631


Dictionary Entries Near coiffure

Cite this Entry

“Coiffure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


coif·​fure kwä-ˈfyu̇(ə)r How to pronounce coiffure (audio)
: a style or manner of arranging the hair

More from Merriam-Webster on coiffure

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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