Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A spiral curl of hair pressed flat against the cheek, temple, or forehead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A little lock of hair, plastered in a spiral form on the temple or forehead with spittle or other adhesive substance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A little lock of hair, plastered in a spiral form on the temple or forehead with spittle, or other adhesive substance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small lock of hair curled so as to lie flat on the temple: so called jocosely or contemptuously from the circumstance that they were often made with the help of saliva.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spiral curl plastered on the forehead or cheek

Etymologies

From the use of saliva to fix the curl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    noun
    Etymology: probably from its being sometimes plastered down with saliva
    Date: 1831
    : a spiral curl that is usually plastered on the forehead, temple, or cheek

    February 1, 2008