[ hair ]
/ hɛər /
any of the numerous fine, usually cylindrical, keratinous filaments growing from the skin of humans and animals; a pilus.
an aggregate of such filaments, as that covering the human head or forming the coat of most mammals.
a similar fine, filamentous outgrowth from the body of insects, spiders, etc.
Botany. a filamentous outgrowth of the epidermis.
cloth made of hair from animals, as camel and alpaca.
a very small amount, degree, measure, magnitude, etc.; a fraction, as of time or space: He lost the race by a hair.
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Idioms for hair
get in someone's hair, Slang. to annoy or bother someone: Their snobbishness gets in my hair.
hair of the dog, Informal. a drink of liquor, supposed to relieve a hangover: Even a hair of the dog didn't help his aching head.Also hair of the dog that bit one.
- to relax; behave informally: He finally let his hair down and actually cracked a joke.
- to speak candidly or frankly; remove or reduce restraints: He let his hair down and told them about his anxieties.
let one's hair down, Informal.
make one's hair stand on end, to strike or fill with horror; terrify: The tales of the jungle made our hair stand on end.
split hairs, to make unnecessarily fine or petty distinctions: To argue about whether they arrived at two o'clock or at 2:01 is just splitting hairs.
tear one's hair, to manifest extreme anxiety, grief, or anger: He's tearing his hair over the way he was treated by them.Also tear one's hair out.
to a hair, perfect to the smallest detail; exactly: The reproduction matched the original to a hair.
without turning a hair, without showing the least excitement or emotion.Also not turn a hair.
Origin of hair
before 900; Middle English heer,Old English hǣr (cognate with Dutch, German haar,Old Norse hār), with vowel perhaps from Middle English haire hair shirt <Old French <Old High German hāria (cognate with Middle English here,Old English hǣre,Old Norse hǣra)
OTHER WORDS FROM hairhairlike, adjectivede·hair, verb (used with object)
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH hairhair , hare
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for hair
/ (hɛə) /
any of the threadlike pigmented structures that grow from follicles beneath the skin of mammals and consist of layers of dead keratinized cells
a growth of such structures, as on the human head or animal body, which helps prevent heat loss from the body
botany any threadlike outgrowth from the epidermis, such as a root hair
- a fabric or material made from the hair of some animals
- (as modifier)a hair carpet; a hair shirt
another word for hair's-breadth to lose by a hair
get in someone's hair informal to annoy someone persistently
hair of the dog or hair of the dog that bit one an alcoholic drink taken as an antidote to a hangover
keep your hair on! British informal keep calm
let one's hair down to behave without reserve
not turn a hair to show no surprise, anger, fear, etc
split hairs to make petty and unnecessary distinctions
Derived forms of hairhairlike, adjective
Word Origin for hair
Old English hær; related to Old Norse hār, Old High German hār hair, Norwegian herren stiff, hard, Lettish sari bristles, Latin crescere to grow
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
Medical definitions for hair
[ hâr ]
Any of the cylindrical, keratinized, often pigmented filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal.
A growth of such filaments, as that forming the coat of an animal or covering the scalp of a human.
One of the fine hairlike processes of a sensory cell.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for hair
[ hâr ]
One of the fine strands that grow from the skin of mammals, usually providing insulation against the cold. Modified hairs sometimes serve as protective defenses, as in the quills of a porcupine or hedgehog, or as tactile organs, as in the whiskers (called vibrissae) of many nocturnal mammals. Hair filaments are a modification of the epidermis of the skin and are composed primarily of keratin. Hair also contains melanin, which determines hair color.
A slender growth resembling a mammalian hair, found on insects and other animals.
A fine, threadlike growth from the epidermis of plants. See more at trichome.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with hair
In addition to the idioms beginning with hair
- hair of the dog that bit you
- hair shirt
- bad hair day
- by a hair
- by the short hairs
- fair-haired boy
- get gray hair from
- hang by a thread (hair)
- hide or hair
- in someone's hair
- let one's hair down
- make one's hair stand on end
- put lead in one's pencil (hair on one's chest)
- split hairs
- tear one's hair
- turn a hair
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.