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See more synonyms for cowlick on Thesaurus.com
  1. a tuft of hair that grows in a direction different from that of the rest of the hair.
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Origin of cowlick

First recorded in 1590–1600; cow1 + lick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cowlick

wig, hairstyle, grass, fur, haircut, fiber, wool, strand, eyebrow, mane, group, shock, collection, cluster, knot, bunch, cowlick, topknot, feathers, ruff

Examples from the Web for cowlick

Historical Examples of cowlick

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for cowlick


  1. a tuft of hair over the forehead
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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 cowlick


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper