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[hair-ee] /ˈhɛər i/
adjective, hairier, hairiest.
covered with hair; having much hair.
consisting of or resembling hair:
moss of a hairy texture.
  1. causing anxiety or fright:
    a hairy trip through the rapids.
  2. full of hardship or difficulty:
    a hairy exam; a hairy illness.
Origin of hairy
First recorded in 1250-1300, hairy is from the Middle English word heeri. See hair, -y1
Related forms
hairiness, noun
unhairiness, noun
unhairy, adjective
1. furry, woolly, shaggy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hairiest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are the hairiest of men, and it is this peculiarity that makes us allude to them.

    The Human Race Louis Figuier
  • The provincial distribution in Fiji follows that of face hair: the interior groups are hairiest and the eastern people least so.

  • To these the climate added bright yellow moccasins, and a fur coat of the hairiest, the whole costume keyed up to Sunday best.

    A Man in the Open Roger Pocock
  • The Ainu are the hairiest of races, and there is nothing which they consider so beautiful as hair.

  • These are the hairiest parts, or where, if there is anything annoying him, the horse can least of all apply relief himself.

    On Horsemanship Xenophon
  • The bob-tail is the hairiest of the large dogs and one of the most striking of all breeds in appearance.

    The Dogs of Boytown Walter A. Dyer
British Dictionary definitions for hairiest


adjective hairier, hairiest
having or covered with hair
  1. difficult or problematic
  2. scaring, dangerous, or exciting
Derived Forms
hairiness, 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 hairiest



early 14c., from hair + -y (2). From 1848 in slang sense of "difficult." Farmer calls this "Oxford slang." Perhaps from the notion of "rugged, rough." Related: Hairiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hairiest in Medicine

hairy hair·y (hâr'ē)
adj. hair·i·er, hair·i·est

  1. Covered with hair or hairlike projections.

  2. Consisting of or resembling hair.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for hairiest



  1. Old; hoary: a hairy tale (1940s+)
  2. Difficult; rough; tough: We had a hairy time getting it all organized (1848+)
  3. Frighteningly dangerous; hair-raising; scary: Campus guards would comb the dorm ''It was hairy''/ the hairy strip of 42d Street (1940s+ Teenagers)

[last sense probably fr the hairy monsters of horror films, but the sense of ''difficult'' was used at 19th-century Oxford, and that of ''dangerous'' in the British armed forces of the 1930s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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