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[kou-lik] /ˈkaʊˌlɪk/
a tuft of hair that grows in a direction different from that of the rest of the hair.
Origin of cowlick
First recorded in 1590-1600; cow1 + lick Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cowlick
Historical Examples
  • I never yet saw a fellow with a cowlick who amounted to a hill of beans.

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour
  • So he put down the spuds and begun to curry that cowlick of hisn.

    Alec Lloyd, Cowpuncher Eleanor Gates
  • I've been fighting this cowlick ever since I've been a kid—stocking caps, gunk, the works.

    The Romantic Analogue W.W. Skupeldyckle
  • Once I saw Dan's cowlick shake like the plume of an angry warrior as his wife turned toward him inquiringly.

    A Hoosier Chronicle Meredith Nicholson
  • He chuckled immoderately and pressed his cowlick down, which defiant tuft popped instantly back to its position of attention.

    The Red Debt

    Everett MacDonald
  • Trousers may be brought to order in a few minutes, but to subdue a cowlick is a matter of years.

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
  • From the top of his forehead to the cowlick on the back of his head ran a broad white scar.

    The Goose Girl

    Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for cowlick


a tuft of hair over the forehead
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 cowlick

1590s, from cow (n.) + lick (n.). Because it looks like a cow licked your head.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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