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1. The act of shaving the head or part of the head, especially as a preliminary to becoming a priest or a member of a monastic order.
2. The part of a monk's or priest's head that has been shaved.
tr.v. ton·sured, ton·sur·ing, ton·sures
To shave the head of.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin tōnsūra, from Latin, a shearing, from tōnsus, past participle of tondēre, to shear; see tem- in Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.tonsured - having a bald spot either shaved or naturaltonsured - having a bald spot either shaved or natural; "tonsured monks"
hairless - having no hair or fur; "a Mexican Hairless is about the size of a fox terrier and hairless except for a tufts on the head and tail"
References in classic literature ?
One garment was all that Norman of Torn would permit him, and as the sun was hot overhead he selected for the Bishop a bassinet for that single article of apparel, to protect his tonsured pate from the rays of old sol.
At the further end, in two high chairs as large as that of the Abbot, though hardly as elaborately carved, sat the master of the novices and the chancellor, the latter a broad and portly priest, with dark mirthful eyes and a thick outgrowth of crisp black hair all round his tonsured head.
And so it remains to all time a lasting record of human needs and human consolations; the voice of a brother who, ages ago, felt and suffered and renounced,--in the cloister, perhaps, with serge gown and tonsured head, with much chanting and long fasts, and with a fashion of speech different from ours,--but under the same silent far-off heavens, and with the same passionate desires, the same strivings, the same failures, the same weariness.
In another incident, the faces of teenaged lovers were blackened, their heads tonsured and they were thrashed in full public view in Gorakhpur district in June.
Kings, presidents, maharajahs and pimply youths in the sixth form, 11 shone in resplendent white against a background of elegantly tonsured greensward.
printer for many years, building committee member for the new church building, and a tonsured reader.
In 1969, at the age of 22, he was tonsured by Metropolitan Nikodim, one of the ROC's most notorious KGB agents (code-named Adamant).
This strange amalgam of an elongated, tonsured head with blank eyes, shoes, circles, squares, exclamation and question marks, and two long-fingered hands, above the inscriptions 'Sightless : Blind : Well-Wrapped-Up' and '1913 (summer)', is on the same thick, oblong paper as Undertenishness, which suggests that they were made about the same time and, like Before and Afterwards, thematically related.
Osbert Lancaster understood that when he drew, so brilliantly, tonsured monks inside decorated gothic arcades or top-hatted grandees entering a municipal gothic Victorian town hall in his Cartoon History of Architecture (1964).
The devotees also get their heads tonsured as a part of the ritual for the departed souls.
But four tonsured monks, ignoring Jerome's reassuring gesture, flee for their lives in all directions.
He and his followers even had themselves tonsured in order to enter the clerical state.