Origin of cockscomb

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at cock1, 's1, comb1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cockscomb

Historical Examples of cockscomb

  • I did not answer, but my face flushed as red as a cockscomb.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Cockscomb, crimson and scarlet; two to three feet; August and September.

    A Woman's Hardy Garden

    Helena Rutherfurd Ely

  • There was the twist round the head, the cockscomb, the hanging piece of liripipe.

    English Costume

    Dion Clayton Calthrop

  • From the shape of the flames this form of burner received the name "cockscomb."

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

  • There is a row of narrow green pointed leaves, standing up like a cockscomb behind each row of flowers.

British Dictionary definitions for cockscomb




the comb of a domestic cock
an amaranthaceous garden or pot plant, Celosia cristata, with yellow, crimson, or purple feathery plumelike flowers in a broad spike resembling the comb of a cock
any similar species of Celosia
informal a conceited dandy
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

Word Origin and History for cockscomb

c.1400, "comb or crest of a cock," from possessive of cock (n.1) + comb (n.). Meaning "cap worn by a professional fool" is from 1560s; hence "conceited fool" (1560s), a sense passing into the derivative coxcomb. As a plant name, from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper