Hair



[hair] /hɛər/

noun
1.
any of the numerous fine, usually cylindrical, keratinous filaments growing from the skin of humans and animals; a pilus.
2.
an aggregate of such filaments, as that covering the human head or forming the coat of most mammals.
3.
a similar fine, filamentous outgrowth from the body of insects, spiders, etc.
4.
Botany. a filamentous outgrowth of the epidermis.
5.
cloth made of hair from animals, as camel and alpaca.
6.
a very small amount, degree, measure, magnitude, etc.; a fraction, as of time or space:
He lost the race by a hair.
Idioms
7.
get in someone’s hair, Slang. to annoy or bother someone:
Their snobbishness gets in my hair.
8.
hair of the dog, Informal. a drink of liquor, supposed to relieve a hangover:
Even a hair of the dog didn’t help his aching head.
Also, hair of the dog that bit one.
9.
let one’s hair down, Informal.

10.
make one’s hair stand on end, to strike or fill with horror; terrify:
The tales of the jungle made our hair stand on end.
11.
split hairs, to make unnecessarily fine or petty distinctions:
To argue about whether they arrived at two o’clock or at 2:01 is just splitting hairs.
12.
tear one’s hair, to manifest extreme anxiety, grief, or anger:
He’s tearing his hair over the way he was treated by them.
Also, tear one’s hair out.
13.
to a hair, perfect to the smallest detail; exactly:
The reproduction matched the original to a hair.
14.
without turning a hair, without showing the least excitement or emotion.
Also, not turn a hair.
/hɛə/
noun
1.
any of the threadlike pigmented structures that grow from follicles beneath the skin of mammals and consist of layers of dead keratinized cells
2.
a growth of such structures, as on the human head or animal body, which helps prevent heat loss from the body
3.
(botany) any threadlike outgrowth from the epidermis, such as a root hair
4.

5.
another word for hair’s-breadth to lose by a hair
6.
(informal) get in someone’s hair, to annoy someone persistently
7.
hair of the dog, hair of the dog that bit one, an alcoholic drink taken as an antidote to a hangover
8.
(Brit, informal) keep your hair on!, keep calm
9.
let one’s hair down, to behave without reserve
10.
not turn a hair, to show no surprise, anger, fear, etc
11.
split hairs, to make petty and unnecessary distinctions
n.

Old English hær “hair, a hair,” from Proto-Germanic *khæran (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German har, Old Frisian her, Dutch and German haar “hair”), perhaps from PIE *ghers- “to stand out, to bristle, rise to a point” (cf. Lithuanian serys “bristle;” see horror).

Spelling influenced by Old Norse har and Old English haire “haircloth,” from Old French haire, from Frankish *harja or some other Germanic source (see above). To let one’s hair down “become familiar” is first recorded 1850. Phrase hair of the dog that bit you (1540s), homeopathic remedy, is in Pliny.

hair (hâr)
n.

hair
(hâr)

noun

Complexity: a system with a lot of hair (1980s+ Computer)

Related Terms

curl someone’s hair, fair-haired boy, get in one’s hair, have a bug up one’s ass, have someone by the short hairs, in someone’s hair, let one’s hair down, longhair, not have a hair on one’s ass

[back-formation from hairy] The complications that make something hairy. “Decoding TECO commands requires a certain amount of hair.” Often seen in the phrase “infinite hair”, which connotes extreme complexity. Also in “hairiferous” (tending to promote hair growth): “GNUMACS elisp encourages lusers to write complex editing modes.” “Yeah, it’s pretty hairiferous all right.” (Or just: “Hair squared!”)

(1.) The Egyptians let the hair of their head and beard grow only when they were in mourning, shaving it off at other times. “So particular were they on this point that to have neglected it was a subject of reproach and ridicule; and whenever they intended to convey the idea of a man of low condition, or a slovenly person, the artists represented him with a beard.” Joseph shaved himself before going in to Pharoah (Gen. 41:14). The women of Egypt wore their hair long and plaited. Wigs were worn by priests and laymen to cover the shaven skull, and false beards were common. The great masses of hair seen in the portraits and statues of kings and priests are thus altogether artificial. (2.) A precisely opposite practice, as regards men, prevailed among the Assyrians. In Assyrian sculptures the hair always appears long, and combed closely down upon the head. The beard also was allowed to grow to its full length. (3.) Among the Greeks the custom in this respect varied at different times, as it did also among the Romans. In the time of the apostle, among the Greeks the men wore short hair, while that of the women was long (1 Cor. 11:14, 15). Paul reproves the Corinthians for falling in with a style of manners which so far confounded the distinction of the sexes and was hurtful to good morals. (See, however, 1 Tim. 2:9, and 1 Pet. 3:3, as regards women.) (4.) Among the Hebrews the natural distinction between the sexes was preserved by the women wearing long hair (Luke 7:38; John 11:2; 1 Cor. 11:6), while the men preserved theirs as a rule at a moderate length by frequent clipping. Baldness disqualified any one for the priest’s office (Lev. 21). Elijah is called a “hairy man” (2 Kings 1:8) from his flowing locks, or more probably from the shaggy cloak of hair which he wore. His raiment was of camel’s hair. Long hair is especially noticed in the description of Absalom’s person (2 Sam. 14:26); but the wearing of long hair was unusual, and was only practised as an act of religious observance by Nazarites (Num. 6:5; Judg. 13:5) and others in token of special mercies (Acts 18:18). In times of affliction the hair was cut off (Isa. 3:17, 24; 15:2; 22:12; Jer. 7:29; Amos 8:10). Tearing the hair and letting it go dishevelled were also tokens of grief (Ezra 9:3). “Cutting off the hair” is a figure of the entire destruction of a people (Isa. 7:20). The Hebrews anointed the hair profusely with fragrant ointments (Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 45:7, etc.), especially in seasons of rejoicing (Matt. 6:17; Luke 7:46).

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