AskDefine | Define coif

Dictionary Definition

coif n : a skullcap worn by nuns under a veil or by soldiers under a hood of mail or formerly by British sergeants-at-law


1 cover with a coif
2 arrange attractively; "dress my hair for the wedding" [syn: dress, arrange, set, do, coiffe, coiffure] [also: coiffing, coiffed]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. A hairdo
  2. A hood
  3. A chain mail head gear


  • Finnish: kampaus
  • Finnish: huppu
chain mail head gear


  1. To style or arrange hair.


to style hair
  • Finnish: kammata

Extensive Definition

A coif () is a close fitting cap that covers the top, back, and sides of the head, worn by all classes in England and Scotland from the Middle Ages to the early seventeenth century (and later as an old-fashioned cap for countrywomen and young children).
Tudor (later Stewart in Scotland) and earlier coifs are usually made of unadorned white linen and tie under the chin. In the Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras, coifs were frequently decorated with blackwork embroidery and lace edging.
Coifs were also worn by an extinct senior grade of English lawyer, the Serjeant-at-Law. A United States law school honor society, the Order of the Coif, is named after this use of the coif.
Coifs were worn under gable hoods and hats of all sorts, and alone as indoor headcoverings.
Coifs were also a type of armour, traditionally made of mail, which covered the head (face excluded), neck and shoulders.
In modern days, women of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS are said to have worn this along with their conservative style of dress.
George Wingfield Digby. Elizabethan Embroidery. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1964.
coif in Swedish: Coif

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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