(redirected from periwig)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to periwig: peruke


arrangement of artificial or human hair worn to conceal baldness, as a disguise, or as part of a costume, either theatrical, ceremonial, or fashionable. In ancient Egypt the wig was worn to protect the head from the sun; short-haired and in many tiers or long and thickly plaited, the wig was an ingenious structure and rather formalized in appearance. Roman women, who favored light hair, often wore blond wigs. The wig came into popular fashion in Europe in the 17th cent. First worn in France during the reign of Louis XIII, who himself wore a wig of long curls that was meant to simulate real hair, the fashion became widespread during the reign of Charles II of England. As human hair was both difficult to obtain and expensive, the hair of horses and goats was often used. The natural wig eventually gave way to the formal peruke or periwig. Later (c.1690) scented pomade and white powder of starch and plaster of Paris were used on the wigs; pink, gray, and blue powder were fashionable as the fad grew. At its height during the reign of Louis XV, the powdered wig was out of fashion by 1794. The periwig gradually gave way to a smaller wig with horizontal curls above the ears and with the back drawn into a loose queue and tied with a bow. By 1788 men began to wear their own hair tied at the back (and sometimes powdered) in imitation of a wig; wigs however continued their hold on the professional classes and can be seen today in the official dress of English courts. After 1800, as long hair for men lost favor, the wig became a part of women's fashions. Today the use of the wig is dictated by fashion.



a covering of hair for the head, made of human hair, animal hair, or synthetic material sewn onto a cloth foundation. Wigs were widely worn in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and other countries. They were very popular in ancient Greece and Rome from the first century A.D., mainly among women. Wigs were introduced in Europe at the end of the 16th century. They became obligatory for the nobility and the state employees in the 18th century but at the end of the century went out of style. Wigs have continued to be traditional for judges in a number of foreign countries into the 20th century. In the late 1960’s, wigs again became fashionable for everyday wear. Wigs are used in the theater and in films to alter an actor’s appearance and achieve certain make-up effects. Trick wigs, with concealed mechanisms, are sometimes used in the circus.

What does it mean when you dream about a wig?

A dream about wearing a wig could represent everything from disguising oneself under a new identity to adopting false or unnatural ideas. It has also been said that wearing a wig in a dream could reflect anxiety about losing one’s hair.

References in periodicals archive ?
One of these Iconoclast columns back in September of 1985, a bit of a rant about lawyers, was titled, "We have met the enemy, and they wear wigs," a reference to the periwigs worn by attorneys and barristers in many nations' courts.
Expect powdered periwigs, satin breeches, velvet frock coats and dazzling cuffs, as the musicians get stuck into the verve, colour and pomp of the 18th-century concert hall.
And it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done as to periwigs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire for fear of the infection -- that it had been cut off the heads of people dead of the plague.
Michael made his money from periwigs, but then he invested the profits from that in a lot of property.
but the pale, sneering faces of one or two of the wicked Ogilvies looked down out of black periwigs and blackening canvas.
Anyone hoping for a grand display of neo-classical sets, fancy costumes and periwigs will have been disappointed, for Carsen and Hoheisel strip the mise-en-scene to the bone.
Some grew so reverent and worshipful that it wouldn't have been astonishing to see them turn up on Meet the Press or ABC News's This Week wearing powdered periwigs and flourishing gilded snuffboxes.
Miller anatomized Puritanism as a carapace of Ramist logic, covenant theology, and faculty psychology surrounding the visceral vitality of Augustinian piety, an intellectual body that grew in health and cogency in Tudor-Stuart England and then suppurated on the American strand, corrupted by internal contradictions, creeping secularism, and periwigs.
In these most public works--canvases for the royal and imperial courts of his own day or for industrialists, wood engravings for multivolume popular histories--Menzel dreamed an airless world of automatonlike courtiers, treacherous physiognomies, periwigs and tricorn hats, and gargantuan crystal chandeliers.
Women's Maskes, Buskes, Muffes, Fanns, Periwigs and Bodkins were first devised and used in Italy by Curtezans and from thence they came to England about the time of the massacre of Paris.
No amount of petticoats and periwigs can make up for a powerful plot.
Sundrie other sweete Gentlemen I know, that haue vaunted their pens in priuate deuices, and trickt vp a companie of taffeta fooles with their feathers, whose beautie if our Poets had not peecte with the supply of their periwigs, they might haue antickt it vntill this time vp and downe the countrey .