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See more synonyms for peruke on Thesaurus.com
  1. a man's wig of the 17th and 18th centuries, usually powdered and gathered at the back of the neck with a ribbon; periwig.
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Origin of peruke

First recorded in 1540–50, peruke is from the Middle French word perruque head of hair, wig, of disputed orig.
Related formspe·ruked, adjectivepe·ruke·less, adjectiveun·pe·ruked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for perukes

Historical Examples

  • To be a gentleman was a matter of silk breeches and perukes and late hours?

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Wigs, perukes, or periwigs, were revived in the seventeenth century.

  • Cards and tables do offend him, and perukes do fall within the compass of his theme.

  • The divine was a man who placed charity above rubrics, and discarded bigotry as he did perukes.

  • Mrs. Archer went softly up to the maker of perukes, and whispered something in his ear.

    The Monctons

    Susanna Moodie

British Dictionary definitions for perukes


  1. a type of wig for men, fashionable in the 17th and 18th centuriesAlso called: periwig
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Word Origin

C16: from French perruque, from Italian perrucca wig, of obscure origin
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 perukes



1540s, "natural head of hair," from Middle French perruque (late 15c.), from Italian perrucca "head of hair, wig," of uncertain origin; supposed by some to be connected to Latin pilus "hair," "but the phonetic difficulties are considerable" [OED]. Meaning "artificial head of hair, periwig" is attested from 1560s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper