- a clipping off or shaving off of part or all of the hair of the head, done esp. formerly as a signal of entrance into the clerical or monastic state
- the head area so clipped or shaved
Origin of tonsureMiddle English from Middle French from Classical Latin tonsura from tonsus: see tonsorial
transitive verb-·sured, -·sur·ing
- The act of shaving the head or part of the head, especially as a preliminary to becoming a priest or a member of a monastic order.
- The part of a monk's or priest's head that has been shaved.
transitive verbton·sured, ton·sur·ing, ton·sures
Origin of tonsureMiddle English from Old French from Medieval Latin tōnsūra from Latin a shearing from tōnsus past participle of tondēre to shear ; see tem- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present tonsures, present participle tonsuring, simple past and past participle tonsured)
- The bald patch resulting from being tonsured.
From Latin tonsÅ«ra (“a clipping, trimming"), from tondeÅ (“shear, clip, trim").