[dan-druh f]


a seborrheic scurf that forms on the scalp and comes off in small scales.

Also dan·driff [dan-drif] /ˈdæn drɪf/.

Origin of dandruff

First recorded in 1535–45; origin uncertain
Related formsdan·druff·y, dan·driff·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dandruff


Examples from the Web for dandruff

Historical Examples of dandruff

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for dandruff



loose scales of dry dead skin shed from the scalpAlso called (now rarely): dandriff
Derived Formsdandruffy, adjective

Word Origin for dandruff

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

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

dandruff in Medicine




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.