See more synonyms for haggard on Thesaurus.com
  1. having a gaunt, wasted, or exhausted appearance, as from prolonged suffering, exertion, or anxiety; worn: the haggard faces of the tired troops.
  2. wild; wild-looking: haggard eyes.
  3. Falconry. (especially of a hawk caught after it has attained adult plumage) untamed.
  1. Falconry. a wild or untamed hawk caught after it has assumed adult plumage.

Origin of haggard

1560–70; orig., wild female hawk. See hag1, -ard
Related formshag·gard·ly, adverbhag·gard·ness, noun

Synonyms for haggard

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Antonyms for haggard

1. robust.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for haggardness

Historical Examples of haggardness

  • There was a trace of haggardness in her face that told him she, too, had spent a restless night.

    Spring Street

    James H. Richardson

  • Under the electric light at the dinner-table his haggardness was revealed.

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • She did not notice the haggardness of his face, nor the repetition of "Poor Langrishe."

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • I was quite startled at the oldness and haggardness of his appearance.

    Pelham, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Dion was struck again by the strong mentality of her and by her haggardness.

    In the Wilderness

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for haggardness


  1. Sir (Henry) Rider . 1856–1925, British author of romantic adventure stories, including King Solomon's Mines (1885)


  1. careworn or gaunt, as from lack of sleep, anxiety, or starvation
  2. wild or unruly
  3. (of a hawk) having reached maturity in the wild before being caught
  1. falconry a hawk that has reached maturity before being caughtCompare eyas, passage hawk
Derived Formshaggardly, adverbhaggardness, noun

Word Origin for haggard

C16: from Old French hagard wild; perhaps related to hedge


  1. (in Ireland and the Isle of Man) an enclosure beside a farmhouse in which crops are stored

Word Origin for haggard

C16: related to Old Norse heygarthr, from hey hay + garthr yard
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

Word Origin and History for haggardness



1560s, "wild, unruly" (originally in reference to hawks), from Middle French haggard, probably from Old French faulcon hagard "wild falcon," literally "falcon of the woods," from Middle High German hag "hedge, copse, wood," from Proto-Germanic *hagon-, from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize;" also "wickerwork, fence" (see hedge). OED, however, finds this whole derivation "very doubtful." Sense perhaps reinforced by Low German hager "gaunt, haggard." Sense of "with a haunted expression" first recorded 1690s, that of "careworn" first recorded 1853. Sense influenced by association with hag. Related: Haggardly; haggardness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper