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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
    • Dryden
      Staring his eyes, and haggard was his look.
    • 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. Wild or untamed
    a haggard or refractory hawk

Derived terms[edit]



haggard (plural haggards)

  1. (dialect, Isle of Man, Ireland) A stackyard, an enclosure on a farm for stacking grain, hay, etc.
    "He tuk a slew [swerve] round the haggard" [1]
  2. (falconry) A hunting bird captured as an adult.
    A "haggard" is a bird captured as an adult and therefore of unknown age; often, the law prohibits capturing birds of mating age. Falconry Pro
  3. (falconry) A young or untrained hawk or falcon.
  4. (obsolete) A fierce, intractable creature.
    • Shakespeare
      I have loved this proud disdainful haggard.
  5. (obsolete) A hag.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Garth to this entry?)


  1. ^ haggard” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.
  2. ^ Le Robert pour tous, Dictionnaire de la langue française, Janvier 2004, p. 547, haie