Definition of hair in English:

hair

Syllabification: hair
Pronunciation: /he(ə)r
 
/

noun

  • 1Any of the fine threadlike strands growing from the skin of humans, mammals, and some other animals.
    More example sentences
    • The oils are rapidly absorbed through skin although the hair on animal skin makes it difficult to apply them.
    • A thick white coat of hollow hairs provides good insulation from the arctic climate.
    • There was a man at the bus stop with a mole this morning - the kind of mole that grows thick black hairs.
    Synonyms
    fur, wool; coat, fleece, pelt; mane
  • 1.1A fine threadlike strand growing from the epidermis of a plant, or forming part of a living cell.
    More example sentences
    • The cuticular hairs formed by epidermal cells are not the only examples of cellular projections found in Drosophila.
    • Plastid morphogenesis in trichome hair cells from the stem and petiole of tomato plants.
    • The leaf surfaces of almost all plant species possess specialized epidermal cell types that form hairs or trichomes.
  • 1.2 (a hair) A very small quantity or extent: his magic takes him a hair above the competition
    More example sentences
    • But just a hair above a majority of his votes came from a secularized portion of society.
    • It's family style, you pay a lot of money for it, and the food is a hair above the other restaurant.
    • On the whole, readings ended up just a hair above normal.
  • 2Hairs collectively, especially those growing on a person’s head: a woman with shoulder-length fair hair [as modifier]: a hair salon
    More example sentences
    • Jessica is tanned and has shoulder-length brown hair while Holly is fair and has blonde hair.
    • The second man was white, between 40 to 45 years old, with grey shoulder length hair and a beard.
    • Her shoulder length hair had grown down to her back and gone from straight to curly.
    Synonyms
    locks, curls, ringlets, mane, mop; shock of hair, head of hair; tresses

Phrases

hair of the dog

informal An alcoholic drink taken to cure a hangover.
[from hair of the dog that bit you, formerly recommended as an efficacious remedy for the bite of a mad dog]
More example sentences
  • The team also experimented with the hair of the dog - or drinking a little more alcohol in the morning.
  • I started the day off trying to stave off my hangover with the 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 hair's breadth

A very small amount or margin: you escaped death by a hair’s breadth
More example sentences
  • We were a hair's breadth away from declaring a major incident.
  • It is also our understanding that we missed two of the remaining three key indicators by a hair's breadth.
  • They were never going to accept that and the idea that they were within a hair's breadth of a deal is simply wrong.
Synonyms
the narrowest of margins, a narrow margin, the skin of one's teeth, a split second, a nose, a whisker

in (or out of) someone's hair

informal Annoying (or ceasing to annoy) someone: I’m glad he’s out of my hair
More example sentences
  • I've really enjoyed working on the piece, but I'm very, very glad to get it out of my hair, at least temporarily…
  • I was sort of glad to get these guys out of my hair for a few hours, a day or two.
  • Her parents were probably more than glad to get her out of their hair.

let one's hair down

informal Behave in an uninhibited or relaxed manner: let your hair down and just have some fun
More example sentences
  • Secretaries, spouses, their children and the bosses were there, letting their hair down literally and enjoying themselves.
  • A short vacation allows you to let your hair down and enjoy natural surroundings with a loved one.
  • This week has a nice surprise with your name on it - so stop work, let your hair down and enjoy it.
Synonyms
enjoy oneself, have a good time, have fun, make merry, let oneself go

make someone's hair stand on end

Alarm or horrify someone.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • He was a good friend, a close colleague, someone who fearlessly undertook assignments that would make your hair stand on end.
Synonyms
horrify, shock, appall, scandalize, stun; make someone's blood run cold
informal make someone's hair curl, turn someone's hair white

not a hair out of place

(Of a person) extremely neat and tidy in appearance.
More example sentences
  • ‘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.
  • 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.
  • All day in the park with Fido and not a hair out of place.

not turn a hair

Remain apparently unmoved or unaffected: the old woman didn’t turn a hair; she just sat quietly rocking
More example sentences
  • 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).
  • 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.

put hair on one's chest

informal (Of an alcoholic drink) be very strong.
More example sentences
  • My grandmother told me that drinking hard liquor would ‘put hair on your chest.’
  • The Baron ordered the chef to change the lamb ragu to a more ‘manly’ dish: lamb shank, a dish that puts hair on your chest.
  • He said it would put hair on your chest.

split hairs

Make small and overfine distinctions.
More example sentences
  • Yes, I do see the distinction and am perhaps splitting hairs over the delivery of the message.
  • 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.
Synonyms
quibble, cavil, carp, niggle
informal nitpick
archaic pettifog

Derivatives

haired

adjective
[in combination]: a curly-haired boy

hairlike

adjective
More example sentences
  • The wind stirs his hair-like feathers, at times blowing the avian equivalent of bangs across his ‘forehead’ but still he stands studying the water.
  • Their flowers range from deep carmine-red through mid-blue to purplish-pink and even beetroot, before giving way to fluffy, hair-like seed heads.
  • Even botanists agree that hair-like roots of mosses can absorb water from the thin layer of soil.

Origin

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

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