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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French haggard, from Old French faulcon hagard (wild falcon) ( > French hagard (dazed)), from Middle High German hag (coppice) [1] ( > archaic German Hag (hedge, grove)). Akin to Frankish *hagia ( > French haie (hedge))[2]


haggard (comparative more haggard, superlative most haggard)

  1. Looking exhausted, worried, or poor in condition
    • 1685, John Dryden, The Despairing Lover
      Staring his eyes, and haggard was his look.
    • 1851, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables:
      Then there was a pale, care-wrinkled woman, not old, but haggard, and already with streaks of gray among her hair, like silver ribbons; one of those women, naturally delicate, whom you at once recognize as worn to death by a brute—probably, a drunken brute—of a husband, and at least nine children.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      By the end of two weeks there isn't a county in England where he hasn't pledged his holiness six different ways — which is not to deny that intermittently he has visions of himself as a haggard apostle of the life renounced, converting beautiful women and millionaires to Christian poverty.
    Pale and haggard faces.
    A gradual descent into a haggard and feeble state.
    The years of hardship made her look somewhat haggard.
  2. (of an animal) Wild or untamed
    a haggard or refractory hawk
Derived terms[edit]


haggard (plural haggards)

  1. (falconry) A hunting bird captured as an adult.
  2. (falconry) A young or untrained hawk or falcon.
  3. (obsolete) A fierce, intractable creature.
  4. (obsolete) A hag.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Garth to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

Old Norse heygarðr (hay-yard)[3]


haggard (plural haggards)

  1. (dialect, Isle of Man, Ireland, Scotland) A stackyard, an enclosure on a farm for stacking grain, hay, etc.
    He tuk a slew [swerve] round the haggard [1]


  1. ^ haggard” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
  2. ^ Le Robert pour tous, Dictionnaire de la langue française, Janvier 2004, p. 547, haie
  3. ^ Terence Patrick Dolan A Dictionary of Hiberno-English: The Irish Use of English (2006) s.v "haggard" p.118 →ISBN