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[bawld] /bɔld/
having little or no hair on the scalp:
a bald head; a bald person.
destitute of some natural growth or covering:
a bald mountain.
lacking detail; bare; plain; unadorned:
a bald prose style.
open; undisguised:
a bald lie.
Zoology. having white on the head:
the bald eagle.
Automotive. (of a tire) having the tread completely worn away.
verb (used without object)
to become bald.
(often initial capital letter) Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. a treeless mountaintop or area near the top: often used as part of a proper name.
Origin of bald
1250-1300; Middle English ball(e)d, equivalent to ball white spot (compare Welsh bal, Greek phaliós having a white spot) + -ed -ed3
Related forms
baldish, adjective
baldly, adverb
baldness, noun
half-bald, adjective
semibald, adjective
semibaldly, adverb
semibaldness, noun
Can be confused
bald, balled, bawled.
4. bare, barefaced, flagrant, patent, utter, out-and-out, downright, flat-out. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for baldness
Historical Examples
  • Did you ever notice, gentlemen, how lying and baldness go together?

    The Arena Various
  • Neeld was surprised at the baldness of the question, but Harry took it as natural.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • His baldness struck one immediately, but it did not give him a look of age.

    The Wonder J. D. Beresford
  • On the whole I think we must leave the announcement as it stands in all its baldness.

    The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • His frown caused a disturbance throughout his vast tracts of baldness.

    Otherwise Phyllis Meredith Nicholson
  • She added nothing to the question, but asked it in all its baldness.

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope
  • The wind had disarranged his sleek hair, revealing his baldness.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • The barber, inclined to stoutness and baldness, shook his head.

  • In contrast with what is found among the insane, baldness is very rare.

    The Criminal Havelock Ellis
  • Even some sorts of baldness are due to growing things at the roots of the hair.

    Natural Wonders Edwin Tenney Brewster
British Dictionary definitions for baldness


having no hair or fur, esp (of a man) having no hair on all or most of the scalp
lacking natural growth or covering
plain or blunt: a bald statement
bare or simple; unadorned
Also baldfaced. (of certain birds and other animals) having white markings on the head and face
(of a tyre) having a worn tread
Derived Forms
baldish, adjective
baldly, adverb
baldness, noun
Word Origin
C14 ballede (literally: having a white spot); related to Danish bǣldet, Greek phalaros having a white spot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for baldness

late 14c., from bald + -ness.



c.1300, ballede, probably, with Middle English -ede adjectival suffix + Celtic bal "white patch, blaze" especially on the head of a horse or other animal (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, gleam;" see bleach (v.)). Cf., from the same root, Sanskrit bhalam "brightness, forehead," Greek phalos "white," Latin fulcia "coot" (so called for the white patch on its head), Albanian bale "forehead." But connection with ball (n.1), on notion of "smooth, round" also has been suggested. Bald eagle first attested 1680s; so called for its white head.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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baldness in Medicine

baldness bald·ness (bôld'nĭs)
The lack of all or a significant part of the hair on the head and sometimes on other parts of the body.

bald (bôld)
adj. bald·er, bald·est
Lacking hair on the head.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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