• WordNet 3.6
    • n hair a filamentous projection or process on an organism
    • n hair cloth woven from horsehair or camelhair; used for upholstery or stiffening in garments
    • n hair any of the cylindrical filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal "there is a hair in my soup"
    • n hair a covering for the body (or parts of it) consisting of a dense growth of threadlike structures (as on the human head); helps to prevent heat loss "he combed his hair","each hair consists of layers of dead keratinized cells"
    • n hair filamentous hairlike growth on a plant "peach fuzz"
    • n hair a very small distance or space "they escaped by a hair's-breadth","they lost the election by a whisker"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Sadie uses the pond as a mirror to put a garland in her hair Sadie uses the pond as a mirror to put a garland in her hair
And She Was Stroking his Hair 217 And She Was Stroking his Hair 217
The Lorelei sits on a rock, combing her hair The Lorelei sits on a rock, combing her hair

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The palms of your hands and the soles of your feet cannot tan, or grow hair
    • Hair A haircloth.
    • Hair (Zoöl) 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.
    • Hair A spring device used in a hair-trigger firearm.
    • Hair (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).
    • Hair Any very small distance, or degree; a hairbreadth.
    • Hair Hair (human or animal) used for various purposes; as, hair for stuffing cushions.
    • Hair 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. "Then read he me how Sampson lost his hairs .""And draweth new delights with hoary hairs ."
    • Hair 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Hair and fingernails are made from the same substance, keratin
    • n hair One of the numerous fine filaments which more or less completely cover the skin of most mammals, and constitute the characteristic coat of this class of animals; any capillary outgrowth from the skin. Hairs are extravascular, non-nervous, epidermal, or exoskeletal structures belonging to the same category as nails scales, feathers, and other horny or cuticular outgrowths, being chiefly distinguished by their simplicity, and their extreme slenderness in proportion to their length, which may reach several feet. A hair consists of an outer or cuticular layer of cells, extremely variable in the details of their arrangement, generally imbricated and with their free edges presenting away from the skin. These constitute the hair-cuticle or cortex, upon the nature of which largely depends the capability of being woven or felted of some kinds of hair, as wool. Inside the cuticle is a tubular shaft of longitudinal fibers, resulting from fibrillation of cells, which may contain a core of granular cells, the pith or medulla of the hair. Air finds its way into the interstices of the pith. Many hairs are quite cylindrical, or have but slightly reniform cross-section; such are apt to be long, slender, and straight, and possess the least felting properties, especially if their cuticular cells be also smooth. Curly, kinky, or woolly hairs, as of the negro's head or a man's beard, owe this character chiefly to the fact that they are flattened in different planes in successive parts of their length. Hairs of extreme length and fineness grow upon the head of women; others are of microscopic size, retaining, however, the same structural character. Hairs of great comparative thickness and stiffness are called bristles, as those on the back of swine, the whiskers of a cat, etc. When still stouter and sharppointed, bristles become spines, as of the hedgehog; one extremely short, broad, blunt, flattened spine becomes a scale, as on a pangolin; and a hair which tends to branch out iu a certain manner becomes a feather. (See feather.) An ordinary hair is divided into the root, which is inserted into the skin; the stem or shaft; and the point, which is the part into which the pith does not extend. The root is planted in a little pit or follicle formed by an inversion of the skin, the hair-follicle; this follicle has a dermic and an epidermic layer, and some of the latter which adheres when a hair is plucked out by the root is called the root-sheath. The root is commonly enlarged or bulbous, constituting the hair-bulb. Associated with the hair-follicle may be one or more sebaceous glands whose secretion keeps the hair glossy, and tiny muscles (arrectores pili) are sometimes attached to the sheath of the root, whose action may cause the hair to bristle or “stand on end.” (See horripilation.) Hair is sometimes colorless, but oftenest heavily pigmented, giving animals their natural colors, in which various shades of black, brown, and gray, with flaxen or yellow, are the commonest, the purer reds, blues, and greens being comparatively rare. In all species of mammals, including man, the hair attains a definite length on certain areas of the body; if cut off, it grows again. Most mammals have at least two sets of hairs: one comparatively long, stout, and straight, coming to the surface and overlying a finer shorter, and more curly set, among the roots of which latter a still finer coating of hairs may be found. The aggregate of the hairs is the pelage, corresponding to the Plumage of a bird; a copious pelage of fine hairs is a fur, as of the fur-seal, otter, beaver, etc.; the fur peculiar to animals of the sheep kind is called a fleece. In most animals the hairs have a definite period of growth, maturity, and decay, which results in the periodical shedding of the coat. Hair is a specially cuticular structure, and hence mostly confined to the exterior of the body; but since epidermis becomes insensibly modified into the epithelium of mucous membrane, so hairs may be found growing inside any of the natural openings of the body, as the ears, nostrils, mouth, and various cutaneous pouches of different animals. Like other horny structures, hairs are often a secondary sexual character, either appearing on certain parts of the body coincidently with the maturity of the sexual function (see puberty), or growing in a certain way in one sex and not in the other, as the human beard, the mane of the lion, etc. Though hairs are in themselves non-nervous, certain hairs on some animals constitute feelers or tactile organs of great delicacy; such are known as tactile hairs.
    • n hair The aggregate of the hairs which grow on any mammal; hairs collectively or in the mass; in the widest sense, a dermal coat or covering either of hair (specifically so called), wool, or fur; pelage; in common use, the natural capillary covering of a person's head: formerly sometimes in the plural.
    • n hair On animals, with the exception of most mammals, a filament; any fine capillary or hair-like outgrowth from the body or any part of it, but especially its surface; one of the objects which compose the hairiness, pubescence, or pilosity of an animal, or such objects collectively: used in both the singular and the plural: as, the hair or hairs of a caterpillar, that which clothes or those which clothe a lobster's gills, etc. Most members of the animal kingdom have hair or hairs of some kind, resembling the peculiar covering of mammals more or less nearly in appearance or function, or both, and consequently taking the same name, though the structural character of these appendages may be entirely different.
    • n hair In botany, an expansion of the epidermis, consisting of a single cell or of a row or number of cells. Hairs assume a variety of forms, even the simple or unicellular ones being often branched, variously curved, or stellate. Cotton-fibers are hairs consisting of elongated single cells. Compound hairs may start from a single cell or a group of cells, and may have their derivative cells arranged in many ways. According to form, hairs may be called capitate, clavate, uncinate, barbed, peltate, etc. They are often glandular and viscid at the extremity. Most hairs or branches of hairs in plants are more or less conical.
    • n hair Haircloth; a garment of haircloth, especially a hair shirt used for penance.
    • n hair A cloth, mat, or other fabric of hair used for various purposes in the trades, as in the extraction of oils, manufacture of soap from cocoanut-oil, etc.
    • n hair Particular natural set or direction; course; order; drift; grain; character; quality.
    • n hair In mech., a locking spring or other safety contrivance in the lock of a rifle or pistol, which may be released by a very slight pressure on a hair-trigger.
    • n hair One of the polyps, as sertularians and others, which grow on oyster-shells. See graybeard, 3, and redbeard.
    • hair Made of or stuffed with hair: as, hair jewelry; a hair mattress.
    • hair To produce or grow hair.
    • hair Another spelling of hare.
    • hair To form fine fibers, as syrup, when tested by dripping.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average human scalp has 100,000 hairs
    • n Hair hār a filament growing from the skin of an animal: the whole mass of hairs which forms a covering for the head or the whole body: :
    • n Hair hār (bot.) minute hair-like processes on the cuticle of plants: anything very small and fine: particular course, quality, or character
    • n Hair hār (mech.) a locking spring or other safety contrivance in the lock of a rifle, &c., capable of being released by a slight pressure on a hair-trigger
    • ***


  • Samuel Beckett
    “We lose our hair, our teeth! Our bloom, our ideals.”
  • J. P. Senn
    J. P. Senn
    “Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice; it whitens only the hair.”
  • Oliver Herford
    Oliver Herford
    “A hair in the head is worth two in the brush.”
  • George Villiers
    George Villiers
    “Men's fame is like their hair, which grows after they are dead, and with just as little use to them.”
  • Martin Luther
    “The hair is the richest ornament of women.”
  • Garry Shandling
    Garry Shandling
    “It's not the hair on your head that matters. It's the kind of hair you have inside.”


Bad hair day - If you're having a bad hair day, things are not going the way you would like or had planned.
By a hair's breadth - If a person escapes from some danger by a hair's breadth, they only just managed to avoid it. The breadth is the thickness of a hair, so they probably feel somewhat lucky because the margin between success and what could easily have been failure was so close.
Don't stand there with curlers in your hair - This means 'don't keep me waiting'. It's said to someone who is taking too long to get moving.
Hair of the dog - If someone has a hair of the dog, they have an alcoholic drink as a way of getting rid of a hangover, the unpleasant effects of having drunk too much alcohol the night before. It is commonly used as a way of excusing having a drink early on in the day.
Hair on fire - If something sets your hair on fire, it excites you or catches your attention urgently.
Hide nor hair - When there's no trace of something or a person, you haven't seen hide nor hair of it or them.('Neither hide nor hair' is also used.)
Keep your hair on - Keep your hair on is advice telling someone to keep calm and not to over-react or get angry.
Make your hair stand on end - If something makes your hair stand on end, it terrifies you.
Out of your hair - If you get someone out of your hair, you get them to stop bothering or annoying you. ('Stay/keep/get out of my hair!' can be used as imperatives)
Split hairs - If people split hairs, they concentrate on tiny and unimportant details to find fault with something.
Tear your hair out - If someone is tearing their hair out, they are extremely worried or agitated about something.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. her, heer, hær, AS. hǣr,; akin to OFries. hēr, D. & G. haar, OHG. & Icel. hār, Dan. haar, Sw. hår,; cf. Lith. kasa,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hǽr, Ger., Dut., and Dan. haar, &c.


In literature:

He was a heavy, muscular youth with curling black hair and comely features, albeit somewhat marked by wilfulness and self-indulgence.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
When the normal sulphur of the hair is absent, or deficient, the preceding substances fail to darken the hair.
"The Ladies Book of Useful Information" by Anonymous
She ruffled her hair a little on father's shoulder.
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
A huge farmer, tousle-haired, black-bearded, held up a lamp and peered out.
"The Trail of the Hawk" by Sinclair Lewis
A tall fellow with light brown hair and blue eyes.
"The Trembling of a Leaf" by William Somerset Maugham
Not a hair of his head had been hurt, not a golden hair.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
This act tumbled her hair about considerably, and Jane Norman's hair was her glory.
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
Other girls' mothers had pretty hair, but her mother had straight hair and little of it.
"Fireside Stories for Girls in Their Teens" by Margaret White Eggleston
The owner of the waggons stood waiting near the closed-up foremost one, the yellow-haired child on his arm.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Dr. Morrison turned out to be a tall man with a kind, tired face, steel-rimmed glasses, and a shock of curly white hair.
"The Electronic Mind Reader" by John Blaine

In poetry:

For since the wild, sweet laugh of her
Has drawn me to her snare,
The only sunlight in the world
Is shining from her hair.
"The Enchantress" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
Don’t know what was in her hair.
Was it the wind blowing madly,
Or just the way I saw it…
Whatever it was, I loved it.
"Her Hair" by Ozdemir Asaf
Then the Dream-wife of Thingvalla,
A Vala young and fair,
Sang softly, stirring with her breath
The veil of her loose hair.
"The Dole Of Jarl Thorkell" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Here should her stature limb to life,
Here leaf her lovely hair,
Yet yonder on the lawn I spy
Her cheek, and eyes how fair.
"Immortal Eve - I" by Manmohan Ghose
My listening angel heard the prayer,
And, calmly smiling, said,
"If I but touch thy silvered hair
Thy hasty wish hath sped.
"The Old Man Dreams" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Her hair is white, her step is slow,
Why kindles then her eye,
And rings her voice with music sweet
Of many a year gone by?
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon

In news:

Clyde Steadman, Long Haired Domestic Long Hair , oil, 48 x 60.
Clyde Steadman, Long Haired Domestic Long Hair , oil, 48 x 60 6048.
Top off your look with our favorite hair accessories—and never have a bad hair day again.
Eva Longoria Hairstyle & Hair How to, Hair Style Beauty Tutorial 2012.
From left, Chuck Knight, newly shorn of his way-past-shoulder-length hair, laughs with his harvesters, stylist Grace Wisham and Jodi Mann, stylist/owner of Backstage salon as they pose with the hair that will be donated to locks of Love.
For more inspired DIY hair tutorials and hair knowledge, check out
It's designed to give those with relaxed hair 6 additional weeks of smoother straigher hair before a touch up.
More than 25 students, parents and employees joined the club by donating their hair at the inaugural Share Your Hair Day at Our Lady of Lourdes School.
"If I had cut my hair in the style I want, they would have beaten me," said Ali Oban, 15, whose hair was cropped short.
On the Senate floor today, confirming that Nelson's hair is not a toupee but rather, a " mop of real hair hair like a 15 year old".
On the Senate floor Monday, confirming that Nelson's hair is not a toupee but rather, a " mop of real hair hair like a 15 year old".
Katy Perry's blue hair is still going strong, but others are ditching—or at least taking a break from—Crayola hair.
Nov 7 The impact of disease on hair Conclusion of a two-part story By Anika Robbins Contributing Writer Disease and illness, and in some cases the treatment of those illnesses, are also implicit in hair loss.
Conair has a line of pink hair-styling products just for breast cancer awareness, including everything from brushes and hair accessories to appliances ($5.99-$19.99).
Unilever, Alberto VO5, Rave , hair care, shampoo, hair conditioner, hair styling, hair spray, Alberto Culver.

In science:

No hair theorems imply that the most general model of this kind (i.e. based on a regular geometry with only D4 brane charge) is obtained from a rotating D4 brane parametrized by charge, mass, and two angular momenta.
Large N field theories from superstrings
Each hair cell has a characteristic frequency at which it is most sensitive.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale
The kinocilium (KC) is present in the hair bundles on non-mammalian vertebrates and contains an axoneme.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale
The length scale δ , which for hair bundles is of the order of 0.3-1nm, indicates the smallest deflection amplitudes at which a signal is generated by the hair bundle and the parameter ℓ characterizes the sharpness of the response.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale
These estimates for the useful amplitude range of hair bundle deflections can also explain the dynamic range of hearing.
Mechanical oscillations at the cellular scale