the act of cutting the hair or shaving the head.
the shaving of the head or of some part of it as a religious practice or rite, especially in preparation for entering the priesthood or a monastic order.
the part of a cleric's head, usually the crown, left bare by shaving the hair.
the state of being shorn.
verb (used with object), tonsured, tonsuring.
to confer the ecclesiastical tonsure upon.
to subject to tonsure.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin tōnsūra a shearing, equivalent to tōns(us) (past participle of tondēre to shear, clip, shave) + -ūra -ure

untonsured, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tonsured
World English Dictionary
tonsure (ˈtɒnʃə)
1.  in certain religions and monastic orders
 a.  the shaving of the head or the crown of the head only
 b.  the part of the head left bare by shaving
 c.  the state of being shaven thus
2.  (tr) to shave the head of
[C14: from Latin tōnsūra a clipping, from tondēre to shave]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., "shaving of the head or part of it as a religious rite," from Anglo-Fr. tonsure (mid-14c.), from O.Fr. tonsure (14c.), from L. tonsura "a shearing, clipping," from tonsus, pp. of tondere "to shear, shave," from PIE *tend-, from base *tem- "to cut" (see tome). The
verb is attested from 1793.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The wooden cover, carved with tonsured monks, was heaved up on a rope.
The monkeys' tonsured head and striking cowl grant them a vague resemblance to the monks for whom they were named.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature