[ hawrs, hohrs ]
/ hɔrs, hoʊrs /

adjective, hoars·er, hoars·est.

having a vocal tone characterized by weakness of intensity and excessive breathiness; husky: the hoarse voice of the auctioneer.
having a raucous voice.
making a harsh, low sound.

Origin of hoarse

1350–1400; Middle English hors < Old Norse *hārs (assumed variant of hāss); replacing Middle English hoos, Old English hās, cognate with Old High German heis, Old Saxon hēs
Related formshoarse·ly, adverbhoarse·ness, noun
Can be confusedhoarse horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hoarseness


/ (hɔːs) /


gratingly harsh or raucous in tone
low, harsh, and lacking in intensitya hoarse whisper
having a husky voice, as through illness, shouting, etc
Derived Formshoarsely, adverbhoarseness, noun

Word Origin for hoarse

C14: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hās, Old Saxon hēs
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 hoarseness



late 14c., hors, earlier hos, from Old English has "hoarse," from Proto-Germanic *haisa- (cf. Old Saxon hes, Old Norse hass, Dutch hees, Old High German heisi, German heiser "hoarse"), perhaps originally meaning "dried out, rough." The -r- is difficult to explain; it is first attested c.1400, but it may indicate an unrecorded Old English variant *hars. Related: Hoarsely; hoarseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hoarseness


[ hôrs ]


Rough or grating in sound, as of a voice.
Having or characterized by a husky, grating voice.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.