Etymology: < French tonsure (14th cent. in Godefroy), or < Latin tonsūra a shearing or clipping, < tondēre , tons-um
1. gen. The action or process of clipping the hair or shaving the head; the state of being shorn.
2.a. spec. The shaving of the head or part of it as a religious practice or rite, esp. as a preparation to entering the priesthood or a monastic order.
b. The part of a priest's or monk's head left bare by shaving the hair.
3. The clipping (a) of coin; (b) of shrubs or hedges. Obs. rare. (OED)
"Much of the human hair used in wigmaking and weave-styling grew on Indian heads - a significant amount of it, Neufeld's book reveals, coming from a temple in the town of Tirupati, where every year two million people are ritually tonsured."
- Rebecca Mead, "Field notes: Hair today", 24 September 2012 The New Yorker