Hair shirt
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:

  • hair shirt — hair shirts 1) N COUNT A hair shirt is a shirt made of rough uncomfortable cloth which some religious people used to wear to punish themselves. He was sent barefoot wearing only a hair shirt into the wilderness as a penance. 2) N COUNT If you say …   English dictionary

  • hair-shirt — garment of ascetics and penitents, 1680s, from HAIR (Cf. hair) + SHIRT (Cf. shirt). Figurative use by 1884. Earlier, such a garment was called simply a hair …   Etymology dictionary

  • hair shirt — noun count a shirt made of very rough cloth that some religious people wore in the past to punish themselves for things they had done wrong put on/wear a hair shirt to do something in order to show that you feel very sorry and guilty about… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • hair shirt — n a shirt made of rough uncomfortable cloth containing hair, worn in the past by some religious people to punish themselves …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hair shirt — ► NOUN ▪ a shirt made of stiff cloth woven from horsehair, formerly worn by penitents and ascetics …   English terms dictionary

  • hair shirt — n. a shirt of haircloth, worn over the skin as a penance …   English World dictionary

  • hair shirt — hair′ shirt′ n. rel a garment of coarse haircloth, worn next to the skin as a penance • Etymology: 1350–1400 …   From formal English to slang

  • hair shirt — noun an uncomfortable shirt made of coarse animal hair; worn next to the skin as a penance • Hypernyms: ↑shirt * * * noun 1. : a shirt made of coarse rough animal hair worn next to the skin as a penance led him … to give himself to fasting, a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • hair shirt — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms hair shirt : singular hair shirt plural hair shirts a shirt made of very rough cloth that some religious people wore in the past to punish themselves for things that they had done wrong • put on/wear a hair… …   English dictionary

  • hair-shirt — adjective self sacrificing or austere • Syn: ↑hair shirted • Pertains to noun: ↑hair shirt (for: ↑hair shirted), ↑hair shirt …   Useful english dictionary

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