This may not mean completely bald, merely having the head shaved in a distinctive pattern. Monks were often tonsured as a symbol that they had accepted God's service through life in a monastery.

Some, including author James Blish, have claimed that monks were tonsured so that demons and/or The Devil could not grab them by the hair.

Ton"sured (?), a.

Having the tonsure; shaven; shorn; clipped; hence, bald.

A tonsured head in middle age forlorn.
Tennyson.

 

© Webster 1913.

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