[ hawr-ee, hohr-ee ]
/ ˈhɔr i, ˈhoʊr i /

adjective, hoar·i·er, hoar·i·est.

gray or white with age: an old dog with a hoary muzzle.
ancient or venerable: hoary myths.
tedious from familiarity; stale: Please don't tell that hoary joke at dinner again tonight.

Nearby words

  1. hoarfrost,
  2. hoarhound,
  3. hoarse,
  4. hoarsely,
  5. hoarsen,
  6. hoary cress,
  7. hoary marmot,
  8. hoary-headed,
  9. hoast,
  10. hoatching

Origin of hoary

First recorded in 1520–30; hoar + -y1

1. grizzled, grizzly; hoar. 2. old, dated, aged; venerated, revered.

Related formshoar·i·ly, adverbhoar·i·ness, nounun·hoar·y, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hoary

British Dictionary definitions for hoary


/ (ˈhɔːrɪ) /

adjective hoarier or hoariest

having grey or white hair
white or whitish-grey in colour
ancient or venerable
Derived Formshoarily, adverbhoariness, 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 hoary



1510s, "gray or white with age" (of hair); c.1600 as "venerable, ancient;" from hoar + -y (2). Related: Hoariness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper