Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A wig, especially one worn by men in the 17th and 18th centuries; a periwig.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wig, especially one with long hair on the sides and back, worn mainly by men in the 17th and 18th centuries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wig; a periwig.
  • transitive v. To dress with a peruke.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An artificial tuft of hair, made to imitate the natural hair, but usually having larger and ampler masses, worn on the head to conceal baldness, by actors in their make-up, and at one time by people generally in conformity to a fashion; a wig.
  • To wear a peruke; dress with a peruke.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wig for men that was fashionable in the 17th and 18th centuries

Etymologies

French perruque, from Old French, head of hair, from Old Italian perrucca.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French perruque. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • His silver-white hair when he removed his peruke was a venerable spectacle.

    Pioneers of Science

  • We would have thought it vile poltroonery and macaronism to have worn wigs -- to say nothing of powder -- unless, indeed, the peruke was a true Malplaquet club or Dettingen scratch.

    The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 2 of 3 Who was a sailor, a soldier, a merchant, a spy, a slave among the moors...

  • Lean and well-built, far advanced in the thirties, a very large nose, and altogether marked features: he wore from morning till night a scratch which might well have been called a peruke, but dressed himself very neatly, and never went out but with his sword by his side, and his hat under his arm.

    Autobiography: Truth and Fiction Relating to My Life

  • He was, however, effeminately nice in the care of his person: the hair on his body he plucked out by the roots; and because he was somewhat bald, he wore a kind of peruke, so exactly fitted to his head, that nobody could have known it for such.

    De vita Caesarum

  • Louisiana perique, ( 'peruke' proper,) that any old smoker would go into ecstasies over, fully equal, it is said to the genuine old-fashioned article, and that is saying a good deal.

    Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce

  • The said gentleman is a citizen of respectable appearance wearing a large full-bottom'd peruke, which though it has never been comb'd is as smooth as on the first day it was form'd.

    Letter 222

  • Ned Gowan's grey peruke inclined itself in the most precise of formal bows.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • His eyes were bright, and save a slight disarrangement of his peruke, he gave no hint of exertion or fatigue.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • First of all, Jon Stewart abandons his comic genius to put on metaphorical judicial robes and a peruke.

    Daniel Menaker: Discomfort Zone

  • On the margin there stood: ex-ambassador, and a note which we also copy: “In a separate box, a neatly frizzed peruke, green glasses, seals, and two small quills an inch long, wrapped in cotton.”

    Les Miserables

Comments

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  • He could not help remarking, that the gentleman's correspondence must be unusually voluminous, when Aurora's features all at once assumed the broader contour of a laugh, with a delightfully provoking question to Don Lewis -- Is it possible that love can be so blind as not to detect the glaring imposition by which it has been deluded? Has my real self made so faint an impression on your senses, that a flaxen peruke and a pencilled eyebrow could carry the farce to such a height as this?

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 4 ch. 6

    September 18, 2008

  • And with that, my friend, you've inspired a new list.

    Edit: which, upon inspection, has already been made. A couple times. Won't let that stop me though.

    May 29, 2007

  • I don't know - the masses seem to have an unholy fondness for the toupee and the combover.

    May 29, 2007

  • This is a style that needs to be revived. I wonder what it would take to bring it back, or if the masses are just too cynical these days.

    May 29, 2007

  • Also known as a periwig, the peruke was popular during the 1600s and 1700s. It is currently worn by British Judges, although now only on ceremonial occasions. The wearing of the peruke was made fashionable by King Louis XIV of France. In the 1650s he began hiring wigmakers wearing full wigs, perhaps to cover his own accelerating baldness. Soon, in imitation of the king, the courtiers began wearing perukes a badge of honor. It was adopted by the future English King Charles II and his court, who brought the fashion to England when he was restored to the throne in 1660. In part, the peruke was a reaction to the close-cropped hair of the Puritans (so-called Roundheads). After King Louis's death in 1715, the massive peruque went out of fshion and was gradually replaced by smaller wigs.

    May 29, 2007