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.
(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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Thu 21st February 2019