Word of the Day : May 20, 2011


noun kwah-FYUR


: a style or manner of arranging the hair

Did You Know?

First appearing in English in the 1630s, "coiffure" derives from 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)." The word is now used as a somewhat fancy way of saying "hairdo." Be careful not to confuse it with "coiffeur," which refers to a man who works as a hairdresser (and of which "coiffeuse" is the female equivalent). You may also encounter "coif" used to mean "hairstyle" -- in such cases, "coif" is operating as a shortened form of "coiffure."


Linda almost didn’t recognize her daughter as Elyse came off the bus with a stylish new coiffure.

"At the beginning of the tale, his character, Eddie, is a failed writer with a frizzy, unkempt hairstyle suitable for a derelict's mug shot. When he begins elevating his IQ to super-genius levels with a black-market smart pill, he graduates from the tangled, despondent look to a sleek coiffure that's at once casually windswept and impeccable from all angles." -- From a movie review by Colin Covert in The (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune, March 18, 2011

Test Your Vocabulary

What kind of hairstyle is a "chignon"? The answer is ...


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