[ton-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-]

Origin of tonsorial

1805–15; < Latin tōnsōri(us) of shaving (tond(ēre) to shave + -tōrius -tory1, with dt > s) + -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tonsorial

Historical Examples of tonsorial

  • A Dutchman who invaded England with portraits and his tonsorial achievement.

  • Arthur Carroll made an entrance into the “Tonsorial Parlor.”

    The Debtor

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • Then the “Tonsorial Parlor” and its patrons waiting for a Sunday-morning shave became a truly genteel function.

    The Debtor

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • Next you hove in sight, and held a pow-wow with the tonsorial artist who insisted upon talking shop after hours.

  • One likes to think of regal features and tonsorial habits setting a fashion.

British Dictionary definitions for tonsorial


  1. often facetious of or relating to barbering or hairdressing

Word Origin for tonsorial

C19: from Latin tōnsōrius concerning shaving, from tondēre to shave
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 tonsorial

"pertaining to barbers," 1813, from Latin tonsorius "of or pertaining to shearing or shaving," from tonsor "a shaver or barber," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave" (see tonsure). Tonsorious in the same sense is attested from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper