[ too-pey ]
/ tuˈpeɪ /


a man's wig.
a patch of false hair for covering a bald spot.
(formerly) a curl or an artificial lock of hair on the top of the head, especially as a crowning feature of a periwig.

Nearby words

  1. toulon,
  2. toulouse,
  3. toulouse-lautrec,
  4. toulouse-lautrec, henri de,
  5. toun,
  6. tour,
  7. tour d'horizon,
  8. tour de force,
  9. tour en l'air,
  10. tour jeté

Origin of toupee

1720–30; variant of toupet < French, equivalent to Old French to(u)p tuft (< Germanic; see top1) + -et -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toupee

British Dictionary definitions for toupee


/ (ˈtuːpeɪ) /


a wig or hairpiece worn, esp by men, to cover a bald or balding place
(formerly) a prominent lock on a periwig, esp in the 18th century

Word Origin for toupee

C18: apparently from French toupet forelock, from Old French toup top, of Germanic origin; see top 1

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 toupee



1727, from French toupet "tuft of hair, forelock," diminutive formed from Old French toupe "tuft," from Frankish *top, related to top (n.1) "highest point." Originally an artificial curl or lock on the top of the head; a style, not necessarily a compensation for baldness. In 18c., also sometimes used of a person who wears a toupee. Slang short form toup is recorded from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper