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Tonsure definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

TON'SURE, n. [L. tonsura, from tonsus, shaved; tondeo, to clip or shave.]
1. The act of clipping the hair, or of shaving the head; or the state of being shorn.
2. In the Romish church, tonsure is the first ceremony used for devoting a person to the service of God and the church; the first degree of the clericate, given by a bishop, who cuts off a part of his hair with prayers and benedictions. Hence tonsure is used to denote entrance or admission into holy orders.
3. In the Romish church, the corona or crown which priests wear as a mark of their order and of their rank in the church.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: the shaved crown of a monk's or priest's head
2: shaving the crown of the head by priests or members of a monastic order v
1: shave the head of a newly inducted monk

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin tonsura, from Latin, act of shearing, from tonsus, past participle of tond?re to shear more at tome Date: 14th century 1. the Roman Catholic or Eastern rite of admission to the clerical state by the clipping or shaving of a portion of the head 2. the shaven crown or patch worn by monks and other clerics 3. a bald spot resembling a tonsure II. transitive verb (tonsured; tonsuring) Date: 1706 to shave the head of; especially to confer the tonsure upon

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 the shaving of the crown of the head or the entire head, esp. of a person entering a priesthood or monastic order. 2 a bare patch made in this way. --v.tr. give a tonsure to. Etymology: ME f. OF tonsure or L tonsura (as TONSORIAL)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Tonsure Ton"sure, n. [F., fr. L. tonsura a shearing, clipping, from tondere, tonsum, to shear, shave; cf. Gr. ? to gnaw; perhaps akin to Gr. ? to cut, and E. tome.] 1. The act of clipping the hair, or of shaving the crown of the head; also, the state of being shorn. 2. (R. C. Ch.) (a) The first ceremony used for devoting a person to the service of God and the church; the first degree of the clericate, given by a bishop, abbot, or cardinal priest, consisting in cutting off the hair from a circular space at the back of the head, with prayers and benedictions; hence, entrance or admission into minor orders. (b) The shaven corona, or crown, which priests wear as a mark of their order and of their rank.



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