1 [koif]
a hood-shaped cap, usually of white cloth and with extended sides, worn beneath a veil, as by nuns.
any of various hoodlike caps, varying through the centuries in shape and purpose, worn by men and women.
a cap similar to a skullcap, formerly worn by sergeants at law.
Armor. a covering for the head and neck, made of leather, padded cloth, or mail.
British. the rank or position of a sergeant at law.
verb (used with object)
to cover or dress with or as with a coif.

1250–1300; Middle English coyf(e) < Anglo-French coife, Old French coiffe < Late Latin cofia, cofea headdress, sort of cap < West Germanic *kuf(f)ja Unabridged


2 [kwahf, koif]
noun, verb (used with object)
coiffure ( defs 1, 3 ).
Also, coiffe.

probably back formation from coiffure, or < French coiffer, its base Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coif (kɔɪf)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Main Entry:  coif
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See queif's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

"close-fitting cap," early 14c., from O.Fr. coife, from L.L. coifa "a cap, hood," of W.Gmc. origin (cf. M.H.G. kupfe "cap").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

COIF definition

Fortran with interactive graphic extensions for circuit design, on UNIVAC 1108.
["An Interactive Software System for Computer-Aided Design: An Application to Circuit Projects", CACM 9(13), Sep 1970].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Framed by a nun's coif, her mobile features express both devotional ecstasy and inner torment with ease.
She seems poised to poke more fun at the offending coif when she realizes that the mike is on and the camera is recording.
He was a rather dapper fellow-always wore nappy little bow ties, had that little coif of hair.
Show hair and makeup people weren't allowed to touch governor's coif.
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