Definition of hair in English:

hair

noun

  • 1Any of the fine thread-like strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals:

    ‘coarse outer hairs overlie the thick underfur’
    ‘thick black hairs on his huge arms’
    • ‘She also couldn't help but notice how handsome he was with his black hair and darker skin tone.’
    • ‘Stripes sometimes occur on the tail, but more often the tail is composed of both black and white hairs intermixed.’
    • ‘Nose, ears, and feet are covered with dark sepia hairs and the tail hairs are almost black.’
    • ‘The entire body and limbs were covered with a thick fine hair or wool curling tightly to the skin.’
    • ‘The gene is known to help determine hair color in many mammals, from humans to mice.’
    • ‘Her eyes were an intense chocolate and her thick, black hair fell to the bottom of her back.’
    • ‘A thick white coat of hollow hairs provides good insulation from the arctic climate.’
    • ‘Strands of her black hair fell into her face and she brushed them out of the way.’
    • ‘The animal was approaching quickly down the trail, its hair bristling.’
    • ‘The creature was covered from mouth to tailfin in thick, bristly hairs.’
    • ‘They are covered with dense, long, shaggy fur made up of thick hairs with longitudinal grooves.’
    • ‘The time of year that the animal was killed has a bearing on how well the hair stays in the skin, making trapping in the winter the best time to hunt for pelts.’
    • ‘But what most people will see when they look at me is the black hair and pale skin, right?’
    • ‘It was a day when the fine hairs on your skin seem to crinkle up in the sun.’
    • ‘There skin was darkened and their black hair fell down to the middle of their backs.’
    • ‘Bristle-like hairs associated with claws of the hind feet form a sort of comb, probably used in grooming.’
    • ‘Strands of her black hair fell smoothly to the sides when she shook her head in declination.’
    • ‘Holly suddenly moved her head, and a few strands of her black hair fell across her face.’
    • ‘There was a man at the bus stop with a mole this morning - the kind of mole that grows thick black hairs.’
    • ‘The oils are rapidly absorbed through skin although the hair on animal skin makes it difficult to apply them.’
    fur, wool
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A fine thread-like strand growing from the epidermis of a plant, or forming part of a living cell:
      ‘scalloped leaves edged with silver hairs’
      ‘it damages the cilia, tiny hairs that clear invading bacteria from the lung’
      • ‘Plastid morphogenesis in trichome hair cells from the stem and petiole of tomato plants.’
      • ‘The cuticular hairs formed by epidermal cells are not the only examples of cellular projections found in Drosophila.’
      • ‘Stems and leaves have a fringe of fine hairs that are particularly appealing when plants are side- or back-lit by the sun.’
      • ‘When infestations are heavy, leaf hairs become matted and flower buds fail to open.’
      • ‘The fine hairs of loquat leaves can irritate the throat so these are brushed off.’
      • ‘Plants have bark and hairs and, above all, toxins.’
      • ‘Other plants will produce thick cuticle or reflective hairs to reduce the amount of light and heat they receive.’
      • ‘The leaf surfaces of almost all plant species possess specialized epidermal cell types that form hairs or trichomes.’
      • ‘All details of her woodcarvings, even the villi, or small hairs on the stem of each plant, are done by hand with a knife.’
      • ‘They have tiny hairs which contain toxins and if you come into contact with enough of them you can come out in a nasty rash.’
      • ‘The fine hairs on this flower come off and float around in the tea.’
      • ‘They release tiny hairs which can cause a severe rash if they come into contact with a person's skin.’
  • 2[mass noun] Hairs collectively, especially those growing on a person's head:

    ‘her shoulder-length fair hair’
    • ‘She was strikingly good-looking, with long, wavy, fair hair, a cute face and bulbous lips.’
    • ‘Those vivid green eyes stood out against his fair complexion and dark hair.’
    • ‘The little girl with fair hair and twinkling eyes laughed with sheer joy and said it would be her best Christmas ever.’
    • ‘When ever you talk about being on the road, and other times, you mention your beard or facial hair.’
    • ‘He is thought to be in his mid - to-late 20s, of stocky build with short fair hair.’
    • ‘With a mane of shaggy white hair and beard, he looked like the archetypal wild old man of the woods.’
    • ‘He is white, tall, in his 20s, clean-shaven with short, dark hair and no facial hair.’
    • ‘She was a moderately young woman with long fair hair twining around a gaudy hairpin.’
    • ‘Her soft, wispy fair hair had been pulled into a loose bun at the back of her head and tied with a black ribbon.’
    • ‘They neither shave, nor have a haircut, allowing their beards and hair to grow long.’
    • ‘The darker your skin, the more likely you are to see changes; if you're very fair or have red hair you may not notice any at all.’
    • ‘He was wearing a light-coloured t-shirt and had short cropped fair to ginger hair.’
    • ‘The woman was described as white, in her early twenties, long fair hair.’
    • ‘The bag snatcher was described as white, in his 30s, with fair, sandy hair.’
    • ‘He has a thick brown beard and shoulder length brown hair that curls ever so slightly.’
    • ‘She was very clean and smart looking, with her fair hair always tied back neatly in a ponytail.’
    • ‘The second man was white, between 40 to 45 years old, with grey shoulder length hair and a beard.’
    • ‘She has brown eyes, very long dark brown hair, a fair complexion and a brace on her teeth.’
    • ‘Jessica is tanned and has shoulder-length brown hair while Holly is fair and has blonde hair.’
    • ‘Her shoulder length hair had grown down to her back and gone from straight to curly.’
    head of hair, shock of hair, mop of hair, mane
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  • 3a hairA very small quantity or extent:

    ‘his magic takes him a hair above the competition’
    • ‘It's family style, you pay a lot of money for it, and the food is a hair above the other restaurant.’
    • ‘She's gorgeous and all but I'd still put her a hair below my favorite of the night.’
    • ‘But just a hair above a majority of his votes came from a secularized portion of society.’
    • ‘On the whole, readings ended up just a hair above normal.’

Phrases

  • hair of the dog

    • informal An alcoholic drink taken to cure a hangover.

      • ‘The hair of the dog that bit you is a dangerous slope but try a classic Bloody Mary, including basil leaves, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, two shots of vodka and four shots of tomato juice.’
      • ‘Well, a little hair of the dog would settle that.’
      • ‘The team also experimented with the hair of the dog - or drinking a little more alcohol in the morning.’
      • ‘They also had steaming mugs of hot coffee, laced with a hair of the dog that bit them for fortification.’
      • ‘I started the day off trying to stave off my hangover with the hair of the dog.’
      • ‘I'm sure we'll be there, indulging in mad gayness and a little hair of the dog.’
      • ‘Down the ages, there have been numerous ‘folk’ cures and remedies for hangovers, one of the best known being ‘the hair of the dog that bit you’ - another drink on waking.’
      • ‘A heavy night of drinking might be followed by a glass of salted water poured from the jar containing pickled cucumbers - a well-tested Russian hangover cure - accompanied by a shot of vodka as hair of the dog.’
      • ‘Have you ever taken a drink in the morning to relieve the symptoms of alcohol (commonly known as hair of the dog or an eye-opener)?’
      • ‘No need for hair of the dog and standing against accusations of being an alcoholic that way.’
  • in (or out of) someone's hair

    • informal Annoying (or ceasing to annoy) someone:

      ‘they sent him to America, just to get him out of their hair’
      • ‘Mum and Dad were especially excited to send me to my first school camp - I thought they were pleased to see me growing up, not keen to get me out of their hair for a week.’
      • ‘With this note she would probably not want to come home early, but I'm going to stay out of your hair, I promise!’
      • ‘Her parents were probably more than glad to get her out of their hair.’
      • ‘You have just fast-tracked this to get us out of your hair.’’
      • ‘I was sort of glad to get these guys out of my hair for a few hours, a day or two.’
      • ‘So there should be plenty of room to build that addition you'll want to keep those crazy teenage martyrs out of your hair.’
      • ‘The wired bedroom works well for parents who want to keep their kids pacified and out of their hair, but it offers too many nocturnal temptations for even the most disciplined of students.’
      • ‘They can't wait to get rid of you, put you out of their home, get you to return home, stop you from calling them all the time, just get you out of their hair someway by hook or crook.’
      • ‘I've really enjoyed working on the piece, but I'm very, very glad to get it out of my hair, at least temporarily…’
      • ‘‘As long as the youngsters are out of their hair, parents don't care.’’
      annoy, irritate, gall, irk, pique, needle, nettle, bother, vex, provoke, displease, offend, affront, upset, anger, exasperate, disgruntle, ruffle, put someone's back up, get on someone's nerves, make someone's hackles rise, raise someone's hackles
      peeve, aggravate, miff, get, get to, bug, nark, wind up, get under someone's skin, get up someone's nose, hack off, get someone's goat, ruffle someone's feathers, get on someone's wick, give someone the hump, rub up the wrong way, get across someone
      tick off, rankle, ride, gravel
      piss off
      get on someone's tits
      exacerbate, hump, rasp
      View synonyms
  • keep your hair on!

    • informal Used to urge someone not to panic or lose their temper.

      • ‘Yes, yes, I'm coming… keep your hair on.’
      • ‘Keep your hair on, he'll wake up in a few minutes.’
  • let one's hair down

    • informal Behave uninhibitedly:

      ‘let your hair down and just have some fun’
      • ‘This week has a nice surprise with your name on it - so stop work, let your hair down and enjoy it.’
      • ‘The evening is a chance for people to let their hair down and enjoy some great racing.’
      • ‘She had forgotten how great it felt to just let her hair down and get loose with the ones she held dearest.’
      • ‘They should be jolly occasions, a chance to let your hair down and enjoy yourself, but there's always the nightmare of what to wear.’
      • ‘It is also to let your hair down, unwind and enjoy yourself.’
      • ‘A short vacation allows you to let your hair down and enjoy natural surroundings with a loved one.’
      • ‘They also have the chance to let their hair down and enjoy a drink or two and party the night away!’
      • ‘People choose to go there on holiday to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.’
      • ‘Secretaries, spouses, their children and the bosses were there, letting their hair down literally and enjoying themselves.’
      • ‘It's a frenetic fortnight when people let their hair down and enjoy themselves to the full.’
      have a good time, have a great time, enjoy oneself, have fun, make merry, have the time of one's life, let oneself go, have a fling
      have a ball, whoop it up, make whoopee, paint the town red, live it up, have a whale of a time, let it all hang out
      push the boat out, have a rave-up
      hang loose, chill out
      jol
      View synonyms
  • make someone's hair stand on end

    • Alarm or horrify someone:

      ‘any kind of siren makes my hair stand on end’
      • ‘Howls that did not belong to wolves filled the air and made Lee's hair stand on end.’
      • ‘The traffic system would make your hair stand on end.’
      • ‘Soon after the cars were loaded, a rumor started to spread that made Ava's hair stand on end.’
      • ‘He was a good friend, a close colleague, someone who fearlessly undertook assignments that would make your hair stand on end.’
      • ‘If I told you the fights we had over this golden anniversary, it would make your hair stand on end.’
      • ‘If you talk to people in the private sector about what happens in universities, it makes your hair stand on end.’
      • ‘A woman patron tells me that electrical outlets (for dryers) are so shockingly few as to make your hair stand on end.’
      • ‘A roar erupted from the trees behind him, making his hair stand on end.’
      • ‘And even knowing that the credit card bill is going to make my hair stand on end, life is pretty goddamn okay right now.’
      • ‘I have phone bills that would make your hair stand on end.’
      horrify, shock, appal, scandalize, dismay, stun
      make someone's blood run cold, freeze someone's blood
      make someone's hair curl
      put the wind up someone
      View synonyms
  • not a hair out of place

    • Used to convey that a person is extremely neat and tidy in appearance:

      ‘she was perfectly made up with not a hair out of place’
      • ‘He turned around, not a hair out of place, the pen poking out the top of his breast pocket.’
      • ‘‘Hello,’ her voice was silky and bright, flashing me a perfect smile with white teeth to go along with it, not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘All day in the park with Fido and not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘Seeing her like that upset me as all my life I'd seen her look perfect not a hair out of place… but now she looked like a shadow of her former self.’
      • ‘His mustache was neatly trimmed and his hair meticulously combed, not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘Eliza said that she had just gone to the movies, but she was wearing a very expensive tailored suit in pearl gray, with not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘A moment later Kelley walked into the kitchen dressed immaculately in a crisp white shirt and blue jeans, not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘This was a ridiculous notion, as he looked perfectly normal to everybody except himself - he was used to being immaculate in public, with not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, there were all these 18-year-olds sitting on the floor, sweating and exhausted, and there was this 57-year-old woman, not a hair out of place.’
      • ‘Because I wished I were Joanna - tall, cool and calm, with not a hair out of place.’
  • not turn a hair

    • Remain apparently unmoved or unaffected:

      ‘if I was told I'd been sacked tomorrow, I don't think I'd turn a hair’
      • ‘And of course, cacti and succulents don't turn a hair in the heat.’
      • ‘While his owner trembled at the turbulence, he happily looked out of the window and didn't turn a hair.’
      • ‘I want the old dog, who doesn't turn a hair if you burst a balloon behind her and who sleeps on our bed at night (even if she does try to eat out feet occasionally).’
      • ‘Now, if you are fortunate to have one of those ex-racers who is so grateful to be off the track that they don't turn a hair when you get on them, and walk around quiet and flat-footed from day one, you can begin to introduce the other gaits.’
      • ‘She's so used to maltreated children that she doesn't turn a hair when they arrive covered in lice, or riddled with worms.’
      remain calm, keep calm, keep cool, remain composed, remain unruffled, appear unaffected, maintain one's equilibrium, keep control of oneself, not show emotion, not lose one's head, bite one's lip, keep a stiff upper lip
      keep one's cool, not bat an eyelid
      keep one's hair on
      View synonyms
  • split hairs

    • see hair
      quibble, raise trivial objections, find fault, cavil, carp, niggle, argue over nothing
      View synonyms
    • Make small and overfine distinctions:

      ‘one of those medieval disputes which split hairs endlessly’
      • ‘I'm not splitting hairs - TV is different from real life.’
      • ‘One sentence in the manual required that lawyers participating in the recount should ‘have the courage to voice disagreement and must split hairs trying to find faults.’’
      • ‘I'm perhaps splitting hairs, here, but there has got to be a difference between drawing influence from various sources and plagiarizing.’
      • ‘Okay, so maybe I'm splitting hairs, but whatever the case may be, it is delicious and I gorged myself on it this Thanksgiving weekend.’
      • ‘I hate to split hairs here, but there's a difference between ‘might not be true’ and ‘knew the info was false.’’
      • ‘By this point we were probably splitting hairs.’
      • ‘Yes, I do see the distinction and am perhaps splitting hairs over the delivery of the message.’
      • ‘It may come down to semantics and splitting hairs, but it doesn't actually say anywhere in the constitution that Japan can't have an army.’
      • ‘But even as the scientists and the Government split hairs over whether more stringent standards are required for bottled water, the consumers have no option but to go for what is available in the market.’
      • ‘One of the things I want to do is give this site a desperately needed spring-clean (yes, it's winter, but let's not split hairs, shall we?).’
      quibble, raise trivial objections, find fault, cavil, carp, niggle, argue over nothing
      nitpick
      pettifog
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English hǣr, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch haar and German Haar.

Pronunciation:

hair

/hɛː/