Part of speech: noun

The shaving of the head, or shaven crown, as of a priest; the priestly office.

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Usage examples "tonsure":

  1. And, while devotion In his wild eyes fantastic shone Under the tonsure blown upon By airs celestial, Calderon. - "The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Vol. I", Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
  2. They quaintly describe, in exquisite delicacy of form and colour, how the young Guthlac, after taking leave of his parents, renounces the profession of arms, and receives the tonsure at the hands of Bishop Hedda. - "Studies from Court and Cloister", J.M. Stone.
  3. As regards the shaving, Finati possibly was right in his day; in Ali Bey’ s, as in my time, the head was only shaved once, and a few strokes of the razor sufficed for the purpose of religious tonsure. - "Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah", Sir Richard Francis Burton.