pil·​gar·​lic pil-ˈgär-lik How to pronounce pilgarlic (audio)
: a bald head
: a bald-headed man
old-fashioned : a man looked upon with humorous contempt or mock pity

Did you know?

The Latin word for "hair" - "pilus" - has given us a number of words: "depilation" ("the removal of hair by chemical or mechanical means"), "pilose" ("covered with soft hair"), and "pelage" ("the hairy covering of a mammal"). "Pilgarlic" also has ties to "pilus," although the person who first used the word in the 16th century was probably thinking about cloves, not Latin roots. Pilgarlic comes from the supposed resemblance between a bald head and peeled garlic - "pilled garlic," in British dialect. The verb "pill" comes in part from the Old English "pilian" ("to peel"), which is thought to trace back to "pilus."

Word History


pilled garlic

First Known Use

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pilgarlic was circa 1529


Dictionary Entries Near pilgarlic

Cite this Entry

“Pilgarlic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilgarlic. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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