Definition of shaggy in US English:



  • 1(of hair or fur) long, thick, and unkempt.

    ‘the mountain goat has a long, shaggy coat’
    • ‘The feline bristled its shaggy fur and started to stand.’
    • ‘She glanced over and saw that even Walter's shaggy fur had taken on a touch of glamour, and Bill's looked much like her own.’
    • ‘The child's blonde hair was growing slightly long, now just becoming shaggy.’
    • ‘His light brown hair, which had been clean cut, was shaggy now.’
    • ‘At the base, there stood a black horse with a thick shaggy pelt and another dark grey one.’
    • ‘His thick brown hair was spiked, but shaggy at the same time.’
    • ‘He had long, shaggy and uncombed flaming red hair.’
    • ‘Michael scratched his shaggy brown hair, embarrassed at the Secret Service agent's commanding, drawn out voice.’
    • ‘The young woman noticed its shaggy fur was receding and looked to see the moon disappearing behind another cloud.’
    • ‘The moonlight glinted off its shaggy fur, shining off the pale wings sprouting from its back.’
    • ‘The taller boy had short shaggy blondish red sort of hair.’
    • ‘His hair, a soft ginger-brown color, was short and shaggy from his brow and over the crown of his head, but lengthened a sizable amount in the back, where it was tied off.’
    • ‘Intent on climbing, all she could see of him was the top of his head, which sprouted a shaggy growth of dirty blonde hair that barely brushed his shoulders in elegant, sweaty and tangled locks.’
    • ‘Dark blonde hair was cropped short and shaggy, hanging attractively though it was obviously meant to be slicked back from a high, proud brow.’
    • ‘He was medium height and had shaggy, short, dark brown hair.’
    • ‘His hair is a lighter brown color and it's shaggy.’
    • ‘I never tell him that I think that with his thick brown eyebrows (like caterpillars), shaggy beard and thick glasses he looks like an intelligent bear.’
    • ‘He was a handsome young man of about three and twenty, but his shaggy mop of dark brown hair attributed to him a certain adorable boyish quality.’
    • ‘His hair had begun to grow back, now slightly shaggy instead of fuzzy.’
    • ‘The somber youth looked at her from underneath his shaggy bangs, and blinked.’
    hairy, hirsute, bushy, thick, woolly, fleecy, long-haired, unshorn, uncut, shock-headed
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    1. 1.1 Having long, thick, unkempt hair or fur.
      ‘a huge shaggy English sheepdog’
      • ‘Their big shaggy komondor sheepdogs with matted dreadlock pelts stayed close at heel.’
      • ‘The pony was old, and had been Asa's own for three years, ever since Asa's older brother, Oberon, had handed him down when he had grown out of the shaggy brown pony.’
      • ‘I got to the front, and was pleasantly surprised to find that, instead of horses, two quaint looking, shaggy little ponies had been pulling us along.’
      • ‘He was despicable, missing teeth and looking very shaggy with the messiest mound of hair resting atop his head.’
      • ‘What began as a group of shaggy street performers and itinerant stilt-walkers now commands huge audiences and premium prices in Las Vegas.’
      • ‘She took a bow, and he grinned as he scratched his shaggy head.’
      • ‘He was shaggy, still dripping wet and shivering.’
      • ‘A shaggy, blonde guy answered the door and smiled.’
    2. 1.2 Having a covering resembling rough, thick hair.
      • ‘It trucked off seven semi loads of toxic material, though it left behind the dead shaggy bark juniper and pinon pines that had been poisoned by fumes from the lab.’
      • ‘On large trees it separates into shaggy strips.’
      • ‘In answer to Dianne's question, Jocelyn says that Roman Chamomile is very tough and has sweet smelling white flowers, but may grow shaggy and need mowing.’
      • ‘During the season, shear off faded blooms or cut back plants if they look shaggy; fertilize afterward.’
      • ‘During the actual weaving, tufts of fleece were sometimes knotted into the weave to anchor them, creating a fabric with a hairy or shaggy finish.’
      • ‘Lepiota rhacodes, the smaller shaggy parasol, is even shaggier and has flesh which stains red when cut.’
      coarse, bristly, scratchy, prickly
      View synonyms


  • shaggy-dog story

    • A long, rambling story or joke, typically one that is amusing only because it is absurdly inconsequential or pointless.

      • ‘His stage persona was that of a man who had wandered into the wrong place but was determined to carry on as if he had made no mistake, while his stage patter often had the air of a shaggy-dog story.’
      • ‘The pleasure comes from the journey rather than the arrival - a shaggy-dog story without the Beethoven punch line.’
      • ‘Best of all, the hotel bar is reckoned to be the room where Coleridge first recited his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the greatest shaggy-dog story ever told.’
      • ‘Great use of sound, lighting and camera angles draw you in to this absurdly eerie little shaggy-dog story.’
      • ‘Still later, I was childishly confident that America had been invented by mean-spirited grown-ups as the setting for innumerable jokes and shaggy-dog stories that were wildly popular in my circle of acquaintances and friends.’
      • ‘The book of Jonah's quite funny if you read it as a theological shaggy-dog story rather than as an accurate biographical account of a man who was eaten by a big fish.’
      • ‘‘And he was always good for a wry, shaggy-dog story - some unprintable but always funny,’ continued Estabrook, who shared train rides with him to early convention sites.’
      • ‘The blogger says the story about the Northwest flight is just a ‘scarily well-written shaggy-dog story.’’
      • ‘Jests are silly, and some of the silliest are shaggy-dog stories.’
      • ‘The renovation threatened to be a shaggy-dog story itself, as the couple moved their lives from room to room while the place took shape over the years.’