See more synonyms for hairy on
adjective, hair·i·er, hair·i·est.
  1. covered with hair; having much hair.
  2. consisting of or resembling hair: moss of a hairy texture.
  3. Informal.
    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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hairy


adjective hairier or hairiest
  1. having or covered with hair
  2. slang
    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 hairy

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

hairy in Medicine


  1. Covered with hair or hairlike projections.
  2. 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.