1. 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.
2. The part of a monk's or priest's head that has been shaved.
tr.v. ton·sured, ton·sur·ing, ton·sures
To shave the head of.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin tōnsūra, from Latin, a shearing, from tōnsus, past participle of tondēre, to shear; see tem- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.