Definition of coif in English:

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1kɔɪf A woman’s close-fitting cap, now only worn under a veil by nuns: her black habit and white starched coif
More example sentences
  • By 1066 it also had a hood or coif of the same material, attached directly or separate and worn over the tunic with a short cape covering the shoulders.
  • Upon her head was placed a coif to protect the holy oil from running down - the coif, we know from the accounts, was of cambric lace; there were gloves of white linen and fine cotton wool to dry up the oil after the anointing.
1.1 historical A metal skullcap worn under armour.
Example sentences
  • As an additional head protection, but occasionally worn alone beneath the mail coif, a metal skullcap called a basinet was developed.
  • Half a dozen soldiers in leather and chain mail hauberks and coifs formed a semicircle around them, hands on the swords sheathed at their hips.
  • By the eleventh century the coif was often integrated with the hauberk becoming a hood.
2kwɑːfkwɒf informal, chiefly North American short for coiffure.
Example sentences
  • Where else can you see such megastars as Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell and Christian Slater sporting bouffant coifs, shaggy sideburns and sequined jackets?
  • The ambassador's wife was draped, to her toes, in shimmering purple; and the other ladies, scattered like rare peacocks around the salon, their hair upswept in shiny coifs, glittered in gilt and sequins.
  • The woman was about the same age as the richly-dressed man, her brown hair swept up in an intricate coif and decorated with glittering hairpins.

verb (coifs, coiffing, coiffed; US also coifs, coifing, coifed)

Pronunciation: /kwɑːf/
Pronunciation: /kwɒf/
[with object]
Style or arrange (someone’s hair): Gloria’s hair was coiffed in its usual way (as adjective coiffed) her coiffed blonde hair
More example sentences
  • Her hair was coiffed in a blonde chignon, her makeup flawless, and her crème suit showed off the alabaster quality of her skin.
  • The women of St Margaret's are neither tough nor butch - they range from a 50-year-old mother of three with perfectly coiffed blonde hair and a pink polo shirt to a landscape gardener with a concave stomach and myriad tattoos.
  • Robert confided that there are so many fabulous options for coiffing hair to perfection regardless of the challenge or current hair situation.


Middle English: from Old French coife 'headdress', from late Latin cofia 'helmet'.

Words that rhyme with coif

barf, behalf, calf, chaff, giraffe, Graf, graph, half, laugh, scarf, scrum half, staff, strafe, wing half Cruyff

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: coif

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