|1.||a close-fitting cap worn under a veil, worn in the Middle Ages by many women but now only by nuns|
|2.||any similar cap, such as a leather cap worn under a chain-mail hood|
|3.||(formerly in England) the white cap worn by a serjeant at law|
|4.||a base for the elaborate women's headdresses of the 16th century|
|5.||a less common word for coiffure|
|—vb , coifs, coiffing, coiffed|
|6.||to cover with or as if with a coif|
|7.||to arrange (the hair)|
|[C14: from Old French coiffe, from Late Latin cofea helmet, cap, of obscure origin]|
|Part of Speech:||n|
close-fitting cap of white linen that covered the ears and was tied with strings under the chin, like a baby's bonnet. It appeared at the end of the 12th century as an additional head protection worn under the hood by men, and it persisted into the 16th century as ecclesiastic or legal headgear, sometimes worn alone, sometimes as an undercap.
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