adjective, hair·i·er, hair·i·est.

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 formshair·i·ness, nounun·hair·i·ness, nounun·hair·y, adjective

Synonyms for hairy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hairiness

fluffiness, pubescence

Examples from the Web for hairiness

Contemporary Examples of hairiness

  • Porter finds that loving a hirsute man is also about accepting the mixed messages his hairiness might imply.

    The Daily Beast logo
    An Ode to Shaggy Men

    Marisa Meltzer

    October 23, 2009

Historical Examples of hairiness

British Dictionary definitions for hairiness


adjective hairier or hairiest

having or covered with hair
  1. difficult or problematic
  2. scaring, dangerous, or exciting
Derived Formshairiness, 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

Word Origin and History for hairiness



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

hairiness in Medicine




Covered with hair or hairlike projections.
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.