hair

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See also: Hair and haïr

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
Hair in low gravity.

Etymology[edit]

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[edit]

Noun[edit]

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 by Geoffrey Chaucer and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs.
    • (Can we date this quote by Edmund Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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, 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.
    • 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.
    Just a little louder please—turn that knob a hair to the right.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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.
    George has (-) brown hair, but I found a hair on the sofa and suspect he's getting some gray hairs.
    George's hair is brown, but one hair I found was grey, so I think there are probably more grey hairs on his head as well.
  • 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[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

hair (third-person singular simple present hairs, present participle hairing, simple past and past participle haired)

  1. (transitive) To remove the hair from.
    • 1808, The Repertory of Patent Inventions, page 90:
      Now know ye, that in compliance with the said proviso, we the said John Cant and John Millar do hereby declare that our said invention of a new method of tanning leather is described in the manner following : that our method of preparing hides and skins by liming, hairing, fleshing, and baiting, is the same as that in use by the most experienced tanners; that is to say: All leather that is to be dressed or curried, we use the operation of what tanners call baiting, for this reason; that the leather when curried should carry a sufficient quantity of oil, and dry a good colour.
    • 1825, American Mechanics' Magazine - Volume 2, page 71:
      By his method raw hides, after hairing and baiting, are converted into leather in less than thirty hours.
    • 1971, Reuben King, ‎Virginia S. Wood, ‎Ralph V. Wood, The Reuben King Journal, 1800-1806, page 49:
      I took 25 hides out of the Lime with Stephens help I haired them and fleshed them
  2. (intransitive) To grow hair (where there was a bald spot).
    • 1863, Yankee-notions - Volume 12, page 312:
      He has haired up and healed over.
    • 1887, National Stockman and Farmer - Volume 11, page 7:
      It has haired over nicely. There are no bad results from it in any way whatever that I can detect.
    • 1992, Hugh Ruppersburg, Georgia Voices: Fiction, page 492:
      The bald patch on his hip was hairing over and he no longer limped.
  3. (transitive) To cause to have hair; to provide with hair
    • 1937, Dyestuffs - Volume 35, Issue 1, page 1:
      THE following classes of fiber are employed for hairing dolls : human hair, mohair, cross-bred wool, horsehair, hog-bristle, unspun cotton. Human hair is only used for hairing dolls of an extremely expensive class.
    • 2014, Lee Karr, ‎Greg Nicotero, The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead:
      So they did three different sculptures and then ran the masks and painted them, haired them, and sent them out to us.
    • 2017, Andy Adams, Wells Brothers: The Young Cattle Kings:
      The winter had haired them like llamas, the sleet had worked no hardship, as a horse paws to the grass, and any concern for the outside saddle stock was needless.
  4. To string the bow for a violin.
    • 1896, Henry Saint-George, The Bow, Its History, Manufacture & Use, page 96:
      The bow is now haired, and all that remains to make it ready for use is to rosin it.
    • 1969, John Alfred Bolander, Violin bow making, page 105:
      The tools used for hairing a bow by various reparimen can be unlimited in their selection. A bowmaker has a different attitude toward hairing than a repairman and this I believe reflects the type of the finished job that is done.
    • 2015, Michael J. Pagliaro, The String Instrument Owner's Handbook, page 108:
      To hair a bow, a hank of horse hair (A) is selected and combed so that all hairs are parallel to each other.

Anagrams[edit]


Irish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

hair

  1. h-prothesized form of air

Noun[edit]

hair

  1. h-prothesized form of air

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun[edit]

hair (plural haires)

  1. Alternative form of her (hair)

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

hair (plural haires or hairen)

  1. Alternative form of here (haircloth)

Etymology 3[edit]

Adjective[edit]

hair

  1. Alternative form of hor (hoar)

Etymology 4[edit]

Noun[edit]

hair

  1. Alternative form of heir (heir)

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Frankish *hattjan.

Verb[edit]

hair

  1. to hate

Conjugation[edit]

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[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • French: haïr
  • Norman: haï