hair

hair

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of hair in English

English Online Dictionary. What means hair‎? What does hair mean?

English

Etymology

From Middle English her, heer, hær, from Old English hǣr, from Proto-Germanic *hērą (hair), of uncertain origin. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Hier (hair), West Frisian hier (hair), Dutch haar (hair), German Low German Haar (hair), German Haar (hair), Swedish and Norwegian hår (hair), Icelandic hár (hair). Eclipsed non-native Middle English cheveler, chevelere (hair), borrowed from Old French chevelëure (hair, head-hair, coiffure, wig).

Pronunciation

  • enPR: hâr, IPA(key): /hɛə/, /hɛɚ/
  • Homophone: hare
  • Rhymes: -ɛə(r)
  • (General New Zealand) Homophone: here

Noun

hair (countable and uncountable, plural hairs) (but usually in singular)

  1. (countable) A pigmented filament of keratin which grows from a follicle on the skin of humans and other mammals.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Geoffrey Chaucer
      Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Spenser
      And draweth new delights with hoary hairs.
  2. (uncountable) The collection or mass of such growths growing from the skin of humans and animals, and forming a covering for a part of the head or for any part or the whole body.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I:
      Her abundant hair, of a dark and glossy brown, was neatly plaited and coiled above an ivory column that rose straight from a pair of gently sloping shoulders, clearly outlined beneath the light muslin frock that covered them.
  3. (zoology, countable) A slender outgrowth from the chitinous cuticle of insects, spiders, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Such hairs are totally unlike those of vertebrates in structure, composition, and mode of growth.
  4. (botany, countable) A cellular outgrowth of the epidermis, consisting of one or of several cells, whether pointed, hooked, knobbed, or stellated.
  5. (countable, engineering, firearms) A locking spring or other safety device in the lock of a rifle, etc., capable of being released by a slight pressure on a hair-trigger.
  6. (obsolete) Haircloth; a hair shirt.
    • c. 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Second Nun's Tale", The Canterbury Tales:
      She, ful devout and humble in hir corage, / Under hir robe of gold, that sat ful faire, / Hadde next hir flessh yclad hir in an haire.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ij, in Le Morte Darthur, book XV:
      Thenne vpon the morne whanne the good man had songe his masse / thenne they buryed the dede man / Thenne syr launcelot sayd / fader what shalle I do / Now sayd the good man / I requyre yow take this hayre that was this holy mans and putte it nexte thy skynne / and it shalle preuaylle the gretely
  7. (countable) Any very small distance, or degree; a hairbreadth.

Usage notes

  • The word hair is usually used without an article in singular number when it refers to all the hairs on one's head in general. But if it refers to more than one hair, a few hairs, then it takes the plural form with an article and needs a plural verb.
  • Adjectives often applied to "hair": long, short, curly, straight, dark, blonde, black, brown, red, blue, green, purple, coarse, fine, healthy, damaged, beautiful, perfect, natural, dyed.

Derived terms

Translations

Anagrams

  • Hari, Hira, Riha, riah

Irish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /haɾʲ/

Verb

hair

  1. h-prothesized form of air

Noun

hair

  1. h-prothesized form of air

Middle English

Noun

hair

  1. Alternative form of her (hair)

Old French

Alternative forms

  • hadir, haḍir, haïr

Etymology

From Frankish *hatjan.

Verb

hair

  1. to hate

Conjugation

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. This verb has a stressed present stem he distinct from the unstressed stem ha, as well as other irregularities. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Related terms

  • haïne

Descendants

  • French: haïr
  • Norman: haï

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.