a hair or the hair of a horse, especially from the mane or tail.
a sturdy, glossy fabric woven of this hair.


of or relating to horsehair: a horsehair mattress.

Origin of horsehair

First recorded in 1275–1325, horsehair is from the Middle English word hors here. See horse, hair
Related formshorse·haired, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for horsehair

Contemporary Examples of horsehair

Historical Examples of horsehair

  • Is usually worked with horsehair on the edges to give firmness to the cordonnet.


    William H. Dooley

  • Mattresses made of wool, or of wool and horsehair, are much better.

    The Physical Life of Woman:

    Dr. George H Napheys

  • Cunningham had made his bed of horsehair; let him twist and writhe upon it.

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

  • They all went for the easy-chair, you see—but it's all horsehair.

    Germinie Lacerteux

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

  • The cordonnet of Alençon is the only one which has horsehair for its foundation.

British Dictionary definitions for horsehair



  1. hair taken chiefly from the tail or mane of a horse, used in upholstery and for fabric, etc
  2. (as modifier)a horsehair mattress
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 horsehair

late 14c., from horse (n.) + hair.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper