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From Latin hirsūtus (shaggy, hairy).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /həːˈsjuːt/, /həːˈsuːt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /hɚˈsut/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːt


hirsute (comparative more hirsute, superlative most hirsute)

  1. Covered in hair or bristles; hairy.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], chapter 3, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition 3, section 1, member 2, page 674:
      A third eminent cause of iealousie may be this, when hee that is deformed hirsute and ragged, and very vertuously giuen, will marry some very faire niec piece, or some light huswife, he begins to misdoubt (as well he may) she doth not affect him.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], page 157, →OCLC:
      [] there are of Roots, Bulbous Roots, Fibrous Roots, and Hirsute Roots.
    • 1823 August 29, [Lord Byron], Don Juan. Cantos IX.—X.—and XI., London: [] [C. H. Reynell] for John Hunt, [], →OCLC, canto IX, stanza 53, page 31:
      Juan, I said, was a most beauteous Boy,
      And had retained his boyish look beyond
      The usual hirsute seasons which destroy,
      With beards and whiskers and the like, the fond
      Parisian aspect []
    • 1851, Henry Mayhew, “Of the Jew Old-clothes Men”, in London Labour and the London Poor; [], volume II (The London Street-folk. Book the Second.), London: [Griffin, Bohn, and Company], →OCLC, page 129, column 2:
      At that period, too, the Jew's long beard was far more distinctive than it is in this hirsute generation.
    • 2008, Desmond Morris, chapter 2, in The Naked Man: A Study of the Male Body, London: Vintage, page 30:
      Despite occasional hirsute rebellions by Cavaliers in the seventeenth century and hippies in the twentieth, the shaggy, long-haired male has remained a rarity []

Usage notes[edit]

  • Considerably more formal than everyday hairy.



Derived terms[edit]




Borrowed from Latin hirsūtus.



hirsute (plural hirsutes)

  1. hairy, bristly, shaggy

Further reading[edit]




  1. vocative masculine singular of hīrsūtus