- 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.
- 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.
- let one's hair down, Informal.
- 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.
- 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
Related Words for hairwig, hairstyle, grass, fur, haircut, fiber, wool, strand, eyebrow, mane, shock, lock, tress, down, cut, tuft, bristle, filament, beard, mop
Examples from the Web for hair
Contemporary Examples of hair
But his fingers moved through her silky strands of hair, and then down her neck.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
They dye their hair and alter their clothes, but not enough to attract attention from authorities.North Korea’s Secret Movie Bootleggers: How Western Films Make It Into the Hermit Kingdom
December 22, 2014
Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White.5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many
December 19, 2014
While the look worked for some, the combination of heat and chemicals took a toll on the hair of others.
Sales for hair relaxers among the black community have dropped by 26 percent in the past five years.
Historical Examples of hair
Hence the hair of the deceased was consecrated to her, and her name invoked at funerals.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
She could feel the shears against her hair, and she was so scared she swore like he told her.
He recalled the story Uncle Peter had told at the Oldakers' about the woman and her hair.
One-half of the pink roses were on the table, and one from the other half was in her hair.
Let me fix your hair and we'll hurry to Vinton's as fast as ever we can.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
- 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
Word Origin for hair
Old English hær "hair, a hair," from Proto-Germanic *khæran (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German har, Old Frisian her, Dutch and German haar "hair"), perhaps from PIE *ghers- "to stand out, to bristle, rise to a point" (cf. Lithuanian serys "bristle;" see horror).
Spelling influenced by Old Norse har and Old English haire "haircloth," from Old French haire, from Frankish *harja or some other Germanic source (see above). To let one's hair down "become familiar" is first recorded 1850. Phrase hair of the dog that bit you (1540s), homeopathic remedy, is in Pliny.
- 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.
- 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.
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