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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Coif \Coif\ (koif or kw[aum]f), v. t. [Cf. F. coiffer.] To cover or dress with, or as with, a coif.

And coif me, where I'm bald, with flowers.
--J. G. Cooper.


Coif \Coif\ (koif or kw[aum]f), n. [OF. coife, F. coiffe, LL. cofea, cuphia, fr. OHG. kuppa, kuppha, miter, perh. fr. L. cupa tub. See Cup, n.; but cf. also Cop, Cuff the article of dress, Quoif, n.]

  1. A cap. Specifically:

    1. A close-fitting cap covering the sides of the head, like a small hood without a cape.

    2. An official headdress, such as that worn by certain judges in England. [Written also quoif.]

      From point and saucy ermine down To the plain coif and russet gown.
      --H. Brocke.

      The judges, . . . althout they are not of the first magnitude, nor need be of the degree of the coif, yet are they considerable.

  2. a coiffure.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 13c., "close-fitting cap," from Old French coife "skull-cap, cap worn under a helmet, headgear" (12c., Modern French coiffe), from Late Latin coifa "a cap, hood" (source of Italian cuffia, Spanish cofia, escofia), of West Germanic origin (compare Old High German kupphia, Middle High German kupfe "cap").


mid-15c., "to cover with a cap," from Middle French coiffer, from Old French coife (see coif (n.)); sense of "to arrange the hair" is attested in English from 1835. Related: Coifed; coifing.


n. 1 A hairdo 2 A hood; a close-fitting cap covering much of the head, widespread until XVIII century; after that worn only by small children and countrywomen 3 An item of chain mail headgear 4 An official headdress, such as that worn by certain judges in England. vb. (context transitive English) To style or arrange hair.

  1. n. a skullcap worn by nuns under a veil or by soldiers under a hood of mail or formerly by British sergeants-at-law

  2. v. cover with a coif

  3. arrange attractively; "dress my hair for the wedding" [syn: dress, arrange, set, do, coiffe, coiffure]

  4. [also: coiffing, coiffed]


A coif is a close fitting cap worn by both men and women that covers the top, back, and sides of the head.

Usage examples of "coif".

She let out a long, tired exhale and sat on the bed, another lock of her long brown hair spilling from her coif- fure onto her shoulder.

Her hair is clean and has the cinnamon odour now common to her, but it is tangled and unkempt and as different as hair may possibly be from the jasmine scented coif that I erected every morning until recently.

Keler Neffe had suddenly torn off his coif and ripped it to shreds in fury.

Rose had two plastic curlers clipped on the crown of her head, just enough to give her coif that rounded pouf short hairdos seem to require.

Clad from head to foot in chain mail, they wore their vizorless headpieces over linked coifs.

Clad from head to foot in chain-mail, they wore their vizorless head-pieces over linked coifs.

Sweyn rose mumbling through a mouthful of rich brewis as Wulfgar threw on his hauberk and coif and set his helm to his head.

Hadden had followed through on his promise about the front-office clothing, and Allesandro, who ran a beauty salon when he was not planting trees, had sat her down in his chair, looked intently into her face with dark, starlit eyes, and then had recut her hair into a simple but elegant coif that she had never thought possible for her lank and mousy locks.

Terent stood there, his ruddy face scrunched and squinting inside its mail coif.

When he took off his plain visorless helmet and thrust back his mail coif, his square-cut, black hair that topped his low broad forehead contrasted strongly with his cold blue eyes.

Chin-length, fine and supple and colored like glossy-wet autumn oak leaves, her coif suited more a folk singer or hippie communard than a club-hopping night-gaunt.

The black robe and her demure coif of short ebony hair gave her an appearance of almost nunlike purity, save for the green hell-fires that danced in her eyes.

The girls were supervised by mothers, aunts, or sisters, the older ladies attended by husbands in snug coifs who delved into jingling purses to pay for ribbons, trinkets, snacks, and games.

He turned, and saw her fall almost fainting against the door, her face whiter than her coif, her finger pointing to the path that led from Saint-Pavin to their cottage.

Ekkehard and his companions had taken to wearing princely Quman armor, cobbled together from armored coats stripped off of dead men, felt coifs, looted Wendish cloaks made rich by fur linings, supple leather gloves, painted shields, everything but the wings, which they had not earned.