[ heyz ]
/ heɪz /
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See synonyms for: haze / hazed / hazing on Thesaurus.com

an aggregation in the atmosphere of very fine, widely dispersed, solid or liquid particles, or both, giving the air an opalescent appearance that subdues colors.
vagueness or obscurity, as of the mind or perception; confused or vague thoughts, feelings, etc.: The victims were still in a haze and couldn't describe the accident.
verb (used with or without object), hazed, haz·ing.
to make or become hazy.
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Origin of haze

First recorded in 1700–10; perhaps noun use of unattested Middle English hase; Old English hasu, variant of haswa “ashen, dusky”; see hazy, hare

synonym study for haze

2. See cloud.


hazeless, adjective

Other definitions for haze (2 of 2)

[ heyz ]
/ heɪz /

verb (used with object), hazed, haz·ing.
to subject (freshmen, newcomers, etc.) to abusive or humiliating tricks and ridicule.
Chiefly Nautical. to harass with unnecessary or disagreeable tasks.

Origin of haze

First recorded in 1670–80, haze is from the Middle French word haser to irritate, annoy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does haze mean?

Haze is a noun or adjective referring to a type of LSD (acid) or marijuana … typically purple haze.

Hazing, on the other hand, is an initiation ritual where people are subjected to all kinds of cruel and unusual tasks or humiliations.

Where does haze come from?

The controversial practice known as hazing has been around since at least the mid-19th century. The origins of the word hazing are uncertain (could be from a French root for “harass”), but it is thought that the practice started on ships where captains would haze new members of the crew by making them do meaningless, backbreaking work, like de-threading rope.

By 1848, upperclassmen on university campuses like Harvard would haze, or force all kinds of horrible tasks upon, underclassmen. Early printed uses of this expression usually involve disciplinary hearings for this kind of behavior … yet, it continued.

Early record of haze as a noun for “mist” or “fog” dates to the 18th century. 1960s drug culture haze borrowed this meaning to refer to hallucinogens or weed that make you feel like you’re in a haze.

The drug haze was popularized by Jimi Hendrix on his rock classic “Purple Haze” in 1967. The song is often taken as a description of being on an acid trip. He famously performed the track at the Monterey International Pop Festival that year, and the name Purple Haze became associated with psychedelic drugs ever since.

In the 1970s, the conveniently named Haze brothers began developing a potent (“dank”) strain of weed, a sativa that they dubbed Haze. That story sounds too good to be true, but growers from the U.S. brought seeds of such a strain to Amsterdam by the 1980s, where it was crossed with others to create weed like Lemon Haze.

References to haze weed emerged in hip-hop music in the 1990s, such as in Cypress Hill’s 1998 “High Times.” From there, haze became shorthand for marijuana generally, not just the specific haze weed strain.

How is haze used in real life?

Haze often refers to smoggy conditions and skies that are smoky from fires.

It’s also still used as a word for marijuana, both specific strains and pot, more generally. People use it as a noun (e.g., I picked up a quarter of some good haze the other day) or adjective (e.g., haze weed). People will often use haze to describe the smoky environments that stoners hang out in too.

Hazing continues on high school and on college campuses, especially when joining teams, clubs, or other organizations like fraternities and sororities. Many have died from hazing, often as the result of alcohol poisoning or beatings, as many hazing rituals involve excessive drinking or physical abuse. Florida A&M marching band member Robert Champion notably, and tragically, died from hazing in 2011, which helped thrust the problem of hazing into the public spotlight.

More examples of haze:

“What they’re hoping is I’ll go away…I won’t go away. They didn’t just haze my son. They killed my son.”
—Deborah Tipton’ quoted by John Hechinger, Bloomberg, September, 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use haze in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for haze (1 of 2)

/ (heɪz) /

  1. reduced visibility in the air as a result of condensed water vapour, dust, etc, in the atmosphere
  2. the moisture or dust causing this
obscurity of perception, feeling, etc
(when intr, often foll by over) to make or become hazy

Word Origin for haze

C18: back formation from hazy

British Dictionary definitions for haze (2 of 2)

/ (heɪz) /

verb (tr)
mainly US and Canadian to subject (fellow students) to ridicule or abuse
nautical to harass with humiliating tasks

Derived forms of haze

hazer, noun

Word Origin for haze

C17: of uncertain origin
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with haze


see in a fog (haze).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.