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

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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.

Examples of coiffure in a Sentence

with his flashy suit and carefully sculpted coiffure, he looks like a slick car dealer
Recent Examples on the Web The character Zara Khan in 'Archer' | Credit: FX Sadly for Sterling, his new coworker doesn't fall for his alleged charm — or Mad Men-era coiffure. Clark Collis,, 30 Aug. 2023 Look to see evidence of the imagination made real through human hands everywhere: in the land that is cleared; in the architecture that endures; in the quilts and elegant coiffures, the pressed and stitched shirts, the felted cowboy hats. Imani Perry, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2024 Their symbolic power has a dark and thrilling history, beginning with their debut in the Garden of Eden, then turning up in Medusa’s coiffure, and even being found guilty for the murder of Cleopatra. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2024 Of course, Sweeney isn’t the first to try to conjure the likeness of the world’s most famous starlet — Anna Nicole Smith, Kim Kardashian, Madonna, Beyoncé and even James Franco are just a few who have purposefully imitated Monroe’s platinum coiffure and scarlet lips. Leah Dolan, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 Julia Garner and her peroxide coiffure are essentially synonymous at the point—and for Golden Globes 2024 red carpet, the close-crop's shade served as the foundation for the actor's makeup palette. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 8 Jan. 2024 Black women have been braiding their hair in cornrows for centuries and, to my Nigerian-American eye, the freestyle braids are reminiscent of pre-colonial coiffures featured in anthropology books. Oyetunde Olubowale, Allure, 20 Dec. 2023 The coiffure creation is the masterful work of stylist DeAngelo Glenn and was debuted by Cheaves in early December. Tayler Adigun, Essence, 2 Jan. 2024 His relatively short political career is powered by his popularity (and notoriety) as a television act, a celebrity secured through outlandish showmanship, tawdry innuendo and the curious coiffure that’s settled on his head. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coiffure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

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