Definitions

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

  • n. Something false; a sham.
  • n. A small hairpiece; a toupee.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any item of false hair worn on the head or face, such as a false beard or wig.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Superadded; done after the work is finished: noting a superadded ornament of sculpture or architecture, especially when inappropriate or in false taste. Also postique.

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

  • n. something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be
  • n. a covering or bunch of human or artificial hair used for disguise or adornment

Etymologies

French, from Italian posticcio, from posto, added (from Latin positus, past participle of pōnere, to place) or from Vulgar Latin *appostīcius (alteration of Latin appositus, past participle of appōnere, to place by, to add : ad-, ad- + pōnere, to place; see apo- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French postiche. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Also: une mèche folle = a stray lock/wisp of hair une mèche rebelle = a wayward lock of hair une mèche lente = a safety fuse une mèche postiche = a hairpiece, toupee

    Enfants

  • I encountered a number of words new to me in an enigmatic post chez l'Eudæmoniste (chez whom there is nil postiche) that is either a riff on the word post itself or a gloomy meditation (or of course both).

    languagehat.com: POSTIL.

  • You men wear your hats on your heads, and can easily get them straight; we don't, we wear them on our hair, or our scalpettes, or our transformations, or on any _postiche_ that may be fashionable or necessary, and can only tell whether they are straight, or even the right way round, by means of a looking-glass.

    Our Stage and Its Critics By "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

  • Fastidiousness, at any rate, is very good _postiche_ for modesty: it is always decent, it can never be coarse.

    Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida Selected from the Works of Ouida

  • A metal false beard, or postiche, which was a sign of sovereignty, was worn by queens as well as kings ... a fashion existing from about 3000 to 1580 BC.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • I have a fragment of their plaster postiche copying the close-grained Egyptian granite; the oily lustre of the quartz is so fresh and the peculiar structure of the rock, with its mica scintillations, so admirably rendered as to deceive, after two thousand years, the eye of a trained mineralogist.]

    Old Calabria

Comments

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  • "We would look askance at anyone who could not bear to discard fallen hair, now that hair shirts are out of fashion, but sophisticated Western people often the wear the hair of others as a postiche or toupee."
    - 'One man's mutilation is another man's beautification', Germaine Greer in The Madwoman's Underclothes.

    September 1, 2008