cow·​lick ˈkau̇-ˌlik How to pronounce cowlick (audio)
: a lock or tuft of hair growing in a different direction from the rest of the hair

Examples of cowlick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first signs of the panthers’ inbreeding were innocuous: a hereditary kink at the end of the cats’ long tails and a cowlick in the fur on their backs. Peter Radetsky, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Earlier this year, at Miu Miu’s fall 2023 show in Paris, some of the models wore underwear as outerwear; many had frizzy hair and cowlicks. Nick Haramis, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2023 Emma Corrin’s cowlick—rivaled perhaps only by the signature style of The Little Rascals’ Alfalfa—went viral moments after the actor closed the show. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 18 July 2023 For some, this translated to midi knots finished in a quiet crown of fuzz that could have been born of a gusty morning commute; for others, matted cowlicks that spoke to a night spent tossing and turning. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 7 Mar. 2023 Pinocchio himself, with his knotty-pine textured body and Butch Waxed-wooden cowlick, has a kind of bratty appeal. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 9 Dec. 2022 The baby had rosy cheeks and resembled his oldest brother, Will, except with his own look: surprisingly blond hair, a cowlick already visible in the yellow fuzz., 29 Apr. 2022 Jones is an odd strain of rebel — not a slick James Dean clone, but a cowlick that can’t help doing its own thing. New York Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Hochman has thick brown hair, with a disobedient cowlick in front, and large brown eyes. Sam Adler-Bell, The New Republic, 3 Dec. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cowlick was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near cowlick

Cite this Entry

“Cowlick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cow·​lick ˈkau̇-ˌlik How to pronounce cowlick (audio)
: a lock or bunch of hair that grows in a different direction from the rest of the hair and cannot be made to lie flat

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