Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dan-druh f] /ˈdæn drəf/
a seborrheic scurf that forms on the scalp and comes off in small scales.
Also, dandriff
[dan-drif] /ˈdæn drɪf/ (Show IPA)
Origin of dandruff
First recorded in 1535-45; origin uncertain
Related forms
dandruffy, dandriffy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dandruff
Historical Examples
  • Nothing is better for cleansing the hair from dust and dandruff.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia Marion Cabell Tyree
  • They have a good deal of dander (dandruff) for sich little vipers!

    Oak Openings James Fenimore Cooper
  • His reddish-brown hair was free of dandruff, his blue eyes clear.

    The Eye of Wilbur Mook H. B. Hickey
  • To be bald is no more than a genial jocosity, a harmless foible—but to have dandruff is almost as bad as to have beri-beri.

    A Book of Burlesques

    H. L. Mencken
  • When the hair is excessively oily or the scalp unusually crowded with dandruff, the weekly shampoo should not be neglected.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
  • He looked more the fashionable club man than ever, though he did have a slight sprinkling of dandruff on his coat collar.

    Tramping on Life Harry Kemp
  • "No more fuzzy hair for me, no red tie, no dandruff," he had said on his return from Paris.

    Money Magic Hamlin Garland
  • The dandruff which detaches from the skin within the escutcheon of the first order is yellowish or copperish color.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • This affection is characterized by an excessive production and detachment of dry scales from the surface of the skin (dandruff).

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • Link picked at the label of his beer bottle and added to the dandruff of shredded paper in the ashtray before him.

British Dictionary definitions for dandruff


loose scales of dry dead skin shed from the scalp Also called (now rarely) dandriff
Derived Forms
dandruffy, adjective
Word Origin
C16: dand-, of unknown origin + -ruff, probably from Middle English roufe scab, from Old Norse hrūfa
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dandruff

1540s, first element obscure, second element is Northumbrian or East Anglian dialectal huff, hurf "scab," from Old Norse hrufa, from Proto-Germanic *hreufaz, source of Old English hreofla "leper."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
dandruff in Medicine

dandruff dan·druff (dān'drəf)
A scaly scurf formed on and shed from the scalp.

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

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dandruff

Word Value for dandruff

Scrabble Words With Friends