hair
Pronunciation
  • enPR: hâr, IPA: /hɛə/, /hɛɚ/, /hɛː/
  • (America, Canada, Ireland) IPA: /hɛ(ə)ɹ/
  • (AU) IPA: /heː/
    • (Victoria) IPA: /hɛːə/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: [hiə]
  • (New Zealand) homophones en
Noun

hair (but usually in singular)

  1. (countable) A pigmented filament of keratin which grows from a follicle on the skin of humans and other mammals.
    • Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs.
    • 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.
    In the western world, women usually have long hair while men usually have short hair.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars (book), 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.
    Internal hairs occur in the flower stalk of the yellow frog lily (Nuphar).
  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.
    • circa 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, [http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/MaloryWks2/1:17.2?rgn=div2;view=fulltext 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.
    Just a little louder please—turn that knob a hair to the right.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

hair (hairs, present participle hairing; past and past participle haired)

  1. (transitive) To remove the hair from.
  2. (intransitive) To grow hair (where there was a bald spot).
  3. (transitive) To cause to have hair; to provide with hair
  4. To string the bow for a violin.

Hair
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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