To split hairs
Hair Hair (h[^a]r), n. [OE. her, heer, h[ae]r, AS. h[=ae]r; akin to OFries. h[=e]r, D. & G. haar, OHG. & Icel. h[=a]r, Dan. haar, Sw. h[*a]r; cf. Lith. kasa.] 1. The collection or mass of filaments growing from the skin of an animal, and forming a covering for a part of the head or for any part or the whole of the body. [1913 Webster]

2. One the above-mentioned filaments, consisting, in vertebrate animals, of a long, tubular part which is free and flexible, and a bulbous root imbedded in the skin. [1913 Webster]

Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

And draweth new delights with hoary hairs. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

3. Hair (human or animal) used for various purposes; as, hair for stuffing cushions. [1913 Webster]

4. (Zo["o]l.) A slender outgrowth from the chitinous cuticle of insects, spiders, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Such hairs are totally unlike those of vertebrates in structure, composition, and mode of growth. [1913 Webster]

5. (Bot.) An outgrowth of the epidermis, consisting of one or of several cells, whether pointed, hooked, knobbed, or stellated. Internal hairs occur in the flower stalk of the yellow frog lily ({Nuphar}). [1913 Webster]

6. A spring device used in a hair-trigger firearm. [1913 Webster]

7. A haircloth. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

8. Any very small distance, or degree; a hairbreadth. [1913 Webster]

Note: Hairs is often used adjectively or in combination; as, hairbrush or hair brush, hair dye, hair oil, hairpin, hair powder, a brush, a dye, etc., for the hair. [1913 Webster]

{Against the hair}, in a rough and disagreeable manner; against the grain. [Obs.] ``You go against the hair of your professions.'' --Shak.

{Hair bracket} (Ship Carp.), a molding which comes in at the back of, or runs aft from, the figurehead.

{Hair cells} (Anat.), cells with hairlike processes in the sensory epithelium of certain parts of the internal ear.

{Hair compass}, {Hair divider}, a compass or divider capable of delicate adjustment by means of a screw.

{Hair glove}, a glove of horsehair for rubbing the skin.

{Hair lace}, a netted fillet for tying up the hair of the head. --Swift.

{Hair line}, a line made of hair; a very slender line.

{Hair moth} (Zo["o]l.), any moth which destroys goods made of hair, esp. {Tinea biselliella}.

{Hair pencil}, a brush or pencil made of fine hair, for painting; -- generally called by the name of the hair used; as, a camel's hair pencil, a sable's hair pencil, etc.

{Hair plate}, an iron plate forming the back of the hearth of a bloomery fire.

{Hair powder}, a white perfumed powder, as of flour or starch, formerly much used for sprinkling on the hair of the head, or on wigs.

{Hair seal} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of eared seals which do not produce fur; a sea lion.

{Hair seating}, haircloth for seats of chairs, etc.

{Hair shirt}, a shirt, or a band for the loins, made of horsehair, and worn as a penance.

{Hair sieve}, a strainer with a haircloth bottom.

{Hair snake}. See {Gordius}.

{Hair space} (Printing), the thinnest metal space used in lines of type.

{Hair stroke}, a delicate stroke in writing.

{Hair trigger}, a trigger so constructed as to discharge a firearm by a very slight pressure, as by the touch of a hair. --Farrow.

{Not worth a hair}, of no value.

{To a hair}, with the nicest distinction.

{To split hairs}, to make distinctions of useless nicety. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To split hairs — Split Split (spl[i^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Split} ({Splitted}, R.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Splitting}.] [Probably of Scand. or Low German origin; cf. Dan. splitte, LG. splitten, OD. splitten, spletten, D. splijten, G. spleissen, MHG. spl[=i]zen. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • split hairs — be very fussy, notice small differences    Clyde likes to work on research that requires him to split hairs …   English idioms

  • split hairs — make unnecessary distinctions He makes a lot of good points but he also has a tendency to split hairs and waste a lot of our time …   Idioms and examples

  • split hairs — If people split hairs, they concentrate on tiny and unimportant details to find fault with something …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • split hairs — QUIBBLE, cavil, carp, niggle, chop logic; informal nit pick; archaic pettifog. → hair   QUIBBLE, cavil, carp, niggle, chop logic; informal nit pick; archaic pettifog. → …   Useful english dictionary

  • split hairs —    If people split hairs, they concentrate on tiny and unimportant details to find fault with something.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you split hairs, you pay too much attention to differences that are very small or unimportant.     …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • split hairs — 1. noun Tedious details; minutiae. The Microsoft trial had been in danger of slipping out of the public eye. Its endless procession of less than riveting economics professors and forgetful executives, mixed with scads of legal and technical split …   Wiktionary

  • split\ hairs — v. phr. To find and argue about small and unimportant differences as if the differences are important. John is always splitting hairs; he often starts an argument about something small and unimportant. Don t split hairs about whose turn it is to… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • split hairs — {v. phr.} To find and argue about small and unimportant differences as if the differences are important. * /John is always splitting hairs; he often starts an argument about something small and unimportant./ * /Don t split hairs about whose turn… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • split hairs — {v. phr.} To find and argue about small and unimportant differences as if the differences are important. * /John is always splitting hairs; he often starts an argument about something small and unimportant./ * /Don t split hairs about whose turn… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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