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[hawrs-hair] /ˈhɔrsˌhɛər/
a hair or the hair of a horse, especially from the mane or tail.
a sturdy, glossy fabric woven of this hair.
of or relating to horsehair:
a horsehair mattress.
Origin of horsehair
First recorded in 1275-1325, horsehair is from the Middle English word hors here. See horse, hair
Related forms
horsehaired, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for horsehair
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The little creature was suspended in a web of horsehair about two inches below a nest.

    Winter Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Cunningham had made his bed of horsehair; let him twist and writhe upon it.

    The Pagan Madonna Harold MacGrath
  • On a chair—a shiny leather chair, displaying its horsehair through a hole in the top left-hand corner—stood a black despatch case.

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • The cordonnet of Alençon is the only one which has horsehair for its foundation.

  • He explained that he had found the Steward lying face downward on the horsehair sofa.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Nothing like getting a ready-made family while you are at it, horsehair.

    Dave Porter and His Rivals Edward Stratemeyer
  • Allingham prefers ligatures of horsehair in these operations, and mentions the carbolized catgut in preference to silk.

  • Mattresses made of wool, or of wool and horsehair, are much better.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
British Dictionary definitions for horsehair


  1. hair taken chiefly from the tail or mane of a horse, used in upholstery and for fabric, etc
  2. (as modifier): a horsehair mattress
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 horsehair

late 14c., from horse (n.) + hair.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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