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90s Slang You Should Know


[hair-rey-zing] /ˈhɛərˌreɪ zɪŋ/
terrifying or horrifying:
We had a hair-raising brush with death.
Origin of hair-raising
First recorded in 1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hair-raising
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just like The Gypsys Warning, or something quite as hair-raising, eh?

    The Girls of Central High on Track and Field David Goodger (
  • No one knew where he could have possibly heard the hair-raising phrase.

  • It was a hair-raising problem, too, and called for every ounce of nerve and every particle of skill the boy possessed.

    Motor Matt's "Century" Run Stanley R. Matthews
  • Piercing, hair-raising, unnatural as they were, Mr. Budlong recognized them.

    The Dude Wrangler Caroline Lockhart
  • These lads come in from the trenches and have some hair-raising stories to tell.

    The War Romance of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth and Grace Livingston Hill
  • It was a hair-raising proposition, but perhaps—just perhaps—not quite so suicidal as it looked.

    The Wreckers Francis Lynde
  • There had been a hair-raising ghost story that had sent a dozen home before the respectable time of departure.

British Dictionary definitions for hair-raising


inspiring horror; terrifying: a hair-raising drop of 600 feet
Derived Forms
hair-raiser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hair-raising

"exciting," 1837, from hair + raise (v.). In 19c. works, sometimes as jocular mock-classical tricopherous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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