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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A rainbow coxcomb crested its head.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Coxcomb \Cox"comb`\ (k?ks"k?m`), n. [A corrupted spelling of cock's comb.]

    1. A strip of red cloth notched like the comb of a cock, which licensed jesters formerly wore in their caps.

    2. The cap itself.

  1. The top of the head, or the head itself.

    We will belabor you a little better, And beat a little more care into your coxcombs.
    --Beau & Fl.

  2. A vain, showy fellow; a conceited, silly man, fond of display; a superficial pretender to knowledge or accomplishments; a fop.

    Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy Of powdered coxcombs at her levee.

    Some are bewildered in the maze of schools, And some made coxcombs, nature meant but fools.

  3. (Bot.) A name given to several plants of different genera, but particularly to Celosia cristata, or garden cockscomb. Same as Cockscomb.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, from cokkes comb (1560s, see cockscomb). Johnson has coxcomical (adj.) "foppish, conceited," but discourages it as "a low word unworthy of use."


n. 1 (context obsolete English) The cap of a court jester, adorned with a red stripe. 2 A foolish or conceited person; a dandy. 3 The fleshy red pate of a rooster.

  1. n. a conceited dandy who is overly impressed by his own accomplishments [syn: cockscomb]

  2. a cap worn by court jesters; adorned with a strip of red [syn: cockscomb]

  3. the fleshy red crest on the head of the domestic fowl and other gallinaceous birds [syn: comb, cockscomb]


Coxcomb may refer to:

  • Coxcomb diagram attributed to Florence Nightingale
  • Comb (anatomy), a fleshy growth on the top of the head of many gallinaceous birds
  • Coxcomb mineral habit
  • Coxcomb (plant), a small genus of edible and ornamental plants
  • Coxcomb Mountains, mountain range of southern California
  • Coxcomb Prominent, a moth
  • The Coxcomb, an early Jacobean era stage play
  • A man overly concerned with his appearance in 17th century England - see fop
  • A hat of a court jester, "the fool's hat"

Cockscomb may refer to:

  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize
  • The Cockscomb, a ridge in southern Utah
  • Rhinanthus minor, a species of flowering plant
  • Plants in the genus Celosia

Usage examples of "coxcomb".

Recall it no more, save to think with scorn of the fleering coxcomb who was so lost to the respect that is due to so sweet a lady.

French coxcomb, who has crawled into your regard like the slimy, creeping thing he is.

But my lord coxcomb laughed at that and walked on his way, whereupon the juggler took up a stone and threw it after him, as after a dog, before resuming his tricks in a most furious rage.

They were all now so drunken that they scarcely heeded me, except for the coxcomb opposite.

The coxcomb who had the infernal impudence to come serenading you, and woke us all up with his damned caterwauling!

Ilford, and a score of others, had turned him into a contemptible coxcomb, who believed himself to be irresistible.

Whereupon, with a serene and cheerful countenance, up rose the mighty form of Amyas Leigh, a head and shoulders above his tormentor, and that slate descended on the bald coxcomb of Sir Vindex Brimblecombe, with so shrewd a blow that slate and pate cracked at the same instant, and the poor pedagogue dropped to the floor, and lay for dead.

I presented to the admiring inmates of the house a greater coxcomb than the Count Devereux in the ethereal person of Jean Desmarais.

One finds it very difficult to think a coxcomb can commit robbery and murder.

At least Miss Sutton might prove amusing, and anything must be better than another day with his overbearing aunt, her silent daughter, and her coxcomb of a son.

Good lord, she had turned down every single invitation the coxcomb had issued to her!

In addition to the coxcomb, therefore, the Fool wears a costume of rough varicolored wool, so that he is a melange of patched colors.

Had the earl not placed so much confidence in this young coxcomb, the matter might have been handled in a properly businesslike way from the start.

Mayhap her initial impression of the man as an arrogant coxcomb was entirely too harsh.

I earned a reputation for something besides being a frivolous coxcomb and the way I cut a deck of cards.