Definition of periwig in English:

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periwig

Pronunciation: /ˈperəˌwiɡ/

noun

1A highly styled wig worn formerly as a fashionable headdress by both women and men.
Example sentences
  • The periwig, adopted from French fashion after the Restoration, not only concealed baldness or reduced head-lice (since the natural hair was close-cropped or shaved) but was worn to enhance dignity.
  • Some seem silly now, like his campaign to rid the New World of periwigs.
  • During the Restoration its rooms saw many grand assemblies (at one, Samuel Pepys burnt his periwig on a candle).
1.1 archaic term for wig1.
Example sentences
  • The small party was conspicuous enough to be identified by a group of German tourists outside Paris, so they took the precaution of buying periwigs to thicken their disguises.
  • He scuttled ahead to hold open the door, moving so jerkily that his periwig slipped down over his forehead.

Derivatives

periwigged

adjective
Example sentences
  • Several groups found themselves excluded from the American Dream of the white, periwigged, slaveholding intelligentsia of Enlightenment Virginia.

Origin

Early 16th century: alteration of peruke, with -wi- representing the French -u- sound.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·i·wig

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