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[ton-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-] /tɒnˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-/
of or relating to a barber or barbering:
the tonsorial shop.
Origin of tonsorial
1805-15; < Latin tōnsōri(us) of shaving (tond(ēre) to shave + -tōrius -tory1, with dt > s) + -al1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tonsorial
Historical Examples
  • Then the “tonsorial Parlor” and its patrons waiting for a Sunday-morning shave became a truly genteel function.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Next you hove in sight, and held a pow-wow with the tonsorial artist who insisted upon talking shop after hours.

  • A Dutchman who invaded England with portraits and his tonsorial achievement.

  • One likes to think of regal features and tonsorial habits setting a fashion.

    A Boswell of Baghdad E. V. Lucas
  • Having thus employed the interval (and still at "tonsorial" in his attempted translation), he returned to the Kirby homestead.

    East Angels Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • He went first to get his hair cut, since the practice of the tonsorial art in Sark is still in the bowl-and-scissors stage.

    Pearl of Pearl Island John Oxenham
  • The "profile" was taken when I was sadly in need of the application of the scissors of the tonsorial artist.

  • She came nearer the easel, and smiled at the late lamented's tonsorial crown.

    Seven Keys to Baldpate Earl Derr Biggers
  • Arthur Carroll made an entrance into the “tonsorial Parlor.”

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • On my return I happened to stop in front of the barber shop, when the tonsorial artist asked how I'd trade my horse for the shop.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for tonsorial


(often facetious) of or relating to barbering or hairdressing
Word Origin
C19: from Latin tōnsōrius concerning shaving, from tondēre to shave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tonsorial

"pertaining to barbers," 1813, from Latin tonsorius "of or pertaining to shearing or shaving," from tonsor "a shaver or barber," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave" (see tonsure). Tonsorious in the same sense is attested from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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