Definition of marcel in English:

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Pronunciation: /märˈsel/


(also marcel wave)
A deep artificial wave in the hair, created with a curling iron.
Example sentences
  • The rex coat - short, remarkably soft and silky - is characterized by a relatively dense, tight, uniform marcel wave, lying close to the body and extending from the top of the head across the back, sides, hips and tail.
  • Sweet'n'neat 20s inspired hair and make-up, including short bobs, marcel waves, heavily kohled eyes with long lashes and small dark cupid's bow lips complete the flapper feel.
  • Merchant Ivory fans will be in heaven; the costumes and make-up are delicious enough to re-ignite the fashion for marcel waves and tea dresses, or at the very least, do wonders for the millinery industry.

verb (marcels, marcelling, marcelled)

[with object]
Give a marcel wave to (hair).
Example sentences
  • So I'll marcel my hair and flaunt it in people's face that I'm not a man, because I can't carry the emotional load.
  • In another work, a cabaret contortionist with marcelled hair smokes a cigarette and reads a book in an improbable state of repose.
  • She's got the marcelled hair that is a bit 20s for Big Band, but who's going to notice?


Late 19th century: named after Marcel Grateau (1852–1936), the Parisian hairdresser who invented it.

  • permanent from Late Middle English:

    Permanent is from Latin permanent- ‘remaining to the end’ from per- ‘through’ and manere ‘remain’. The abbreviation perm in hairdressing dates from the 1920s, a shortening of ‘permanent wave’, a process that had been introduced only a few years earlier. Before that people had to curl their hair with hot tongs, or use the late 19th century marcel wave, named after François Marcel Grateau (1852–1936), the French hairdresser who invented the method.

Words that rhyme with marcel

Adele, Aix-la-Chapelle, aquarelle, artel, au naturel, bagatelle, béchamel, befell, bell, belle, boatel, Brunel, Cadell, carousel, cartel, cell, Chanel, chanterelle, clientele, Clonmel, compel, Cornell, crime passionnel, dell, demoiselle, dispel, dwell, el, ell, Estelle, excel, expel, farewell, fell, Fidel, fontanelle, foretell, Gabrielle, gazelle, gel, Giselle, hell, hotel, impel, knell, lapel, mademoiselle, maître d'hôtel, Manuel, matériel, mesdemoiselles, Michel, Michelle, Miguel, misspell, morel, moschatel, Moselle, motel, muscatel, nacelle, Nell, Nobel, Noel, organelle, outsell, Parnell, pell-mell, personnel, propel, quell, quenelle, rappel, Raquel, Ravel, rebel, repel, Rochelle, Sahel, sardelle, sell, shell, show-and-tell, smell, Snell, spell, spinel, swell, tell, undersell, vielle, villanelle, well, yell

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mar·cel

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