Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for hair-raising
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The way that Spot walked into those dogs and gave them what-for was hair-raising.

    Lost Face Jack London
  • No one knew where he could have possibly heard the hair-raising phrase.

  • Piercing, hair-raising, unnatural as they were, Mr. Budlong recognized them.

    The Dude Wrangler

    Caroline Lockhart
  • It was a hair-raising coast, but we made the brink without a spill.

    Down the Yellowstone Lewis R. Freeman
  • One fellow, I forget his name, has a most hair-raising theory.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • It was a hair-raising proposition, but perhaps—just perhaps—not quite so suicidal as it looked.

    The Wreckers Francis Lynde
  • The yells which accompanied it were hair-raising as the shrieks from a band of maniacs.

    Ben Blair Will Lillibridge
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for hair-raising

Word Value for hair

Scrabble Words With Friends