Abraham Lincoln, who shaved his beard into a goatee at various points during his presidency.

Goatee refers to a style of facial hair incorporating hair on a man’s chin. The exact nature of the style has varied according to time and culture.

Traditionally, goatee refers solely to a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin. In modern American English, it is often used to refer to the style of facial hair traditionally called the Vandyke, a combination of a goatee and a mustache.

The style dates back to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, where the god Pan was traditionally depicted with one. When Christianity became the dominant religion and began coopting imagery from pagan myth, Satan was given the likeness of Pan, leading to Satan traditionally being depicted with a goatee in medieval and renaissance art, an image which persists into the modern era.[1]

a colour photo of a thin male statuette in dark brown wood
A Moai Kavakava from Easter Island. Many statues from Easter Island have goatee beards.

The goatee became popular again in the late 19th century, becoming one of the characterizing physical traits of the bohemians in Paris. In America, Abraham Lincoln wore a goatee at various points in his presidency.

The goatee would not become popular again until the 1940s, when it became a defining trait of the beatniks in post-World War II America. The style remained popular amongst the counter culture until the 1960s and then fell out of popularity again.


See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goatee — Goat ee , n. A part of a man s beard on the chin or lower lip which is allowed to grow, and trimmed so as to resemble the beard of a goat. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • goatee — 1844 (as goaty), from GOATY (Cf. goaty) (adj.). So called from its resemblance to a male goat s chin hairs …   Etymology dictionary

  • goatee — ► NOUN ▪ a small pointed beard like that of a goat. DERIVATIVES goateed adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • goatee — ☆ goatee [gō tē′ ] n. [< GOAT + EE1: from the resemblance to a goat s beard] a small, pointed beard on a man s chin …   English World dictionary

  • goatee — UK [ˌɡəʊˈtiː] / US [ɡoʊˈtɪ] noun [countable] Word forms goatee : singular goatee plural goatees a small pointed beard …   English dictionary

  • Goatee — Rudolf Epp: Portrait eines Mannes mit Vollbart von 1901 Bartträger des späten 19. Jahrhunderts Barthaare sind Teil …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • goatee — noun /ɡəʊˈtiː,ˌɡoʊˈtiː/ A beard trimmed to grow only at the center of the chin. The terrorist, as he called himself, was old and bald, with a narrow, snow white wisp of a goatee hanging limply from his chin …   Wiktionary

  • goatee — noun Goatee is used after these nouns: ↑beard …   Collocations dictionary

  • goatee — [[t]go͟ʊti͟ː[/t]] goatees N COUNT A goatee is a very short pointed beard that covers a man s chin but not his cheeks …   English dictionary

  • goatee — noun Etymology: from its resemblance to the beard of a he goat Date: 1844 a small pointed or tufted beard on a man s chin • goateed adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary