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hag·​gard ˈha-gərd How to pronounce haggard (audio)
of a hawk : not tamed
: wild in appearance
: having a worn or emaciated appearance : gaunt
haggard faces looked up sadly from out of the strawW. M. Thackeray
haggardly adverb
haggardness noun


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: an adult hawk caught wild
obsolete : an intractable person

Examples of haggard in a Sentence

Adjective She looked tired and haggard. We were shocked by his haggard appearance.
Recent Examples on the Web
By comparison, a minuscule amount of the budget goes toward providing shelter and care for influxes of haggard migrants. Eileen Sullivan, New York Times, 13 July 2023 Many of their friends had been killed there, and their expressions were haggard, a mix of defeat and defiance. Elliot Ackerman, Foreign Affairs, 24 Aug. 2021 With the prospect of World War III hanging in the balance, the old, haggard mercenaries and fresh-faced young ones have no choice but to storm the ship and stop the bad guys. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 7 June 2023 The haggard gent has a point. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 25 May 2021 The film suffers a stuttering start — and the introduction of a poor framing device with a sit-down Holiday interview — before going back in time 10 years and tracing the toll drugs and abuse slowly take on an increasingly haggard Holiday, leading to her death in 1959. Mark Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, 26 Feb. 2021 Does the front of your house look haggard? Popular Science, 29 May 2020 The 79-year-oldfell into a deep depression, stopped eating and became a haggard shell of himself. oregonlive, 5 Mar. 2023 Her father, a slight, haggard man, greeted us feebly. Smita Sharma, National Geographic, 28 Sep. 2020
Young men with haggard faces and gaping mouths roamed the streets. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Fast forward 35 years and the station looks straight-up haggard. Taylor Dolven, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2023 Kalinina told me of a woman who, during Russia’s occupation, opened her front door to see a haggard and bloody young man wearing a woman’s coat. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 24 Feb. 2023 After 20 years away, King Odysseus (Fiennes) washes up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2023 Here’s any official synopsis for the film: After 20 years away Odysseus (Fiennes) washes up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 15 Feb. 2023 In the fall of 1522, a leaky ship made port in Spain with 18 haggard crewmen, all that survived of some 240 who’d manned a bold, mercantile mission. National Geographic, 11 Aug. 2022 Town officials argue that redeveloping the haggard and mostly empty plaza and its roughly 20 acres is a key component to reviving the entire Silver Lane corridor. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 29 May 2022 After 20 years away, Odysseus (Fiennes) washes up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'haggard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective and Noun

Middle French hagard

First Known Use


circa 1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of haggard was circa 1566


Dictionary Entries Near haggard

Cite this Entry

“Haggard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haggard. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: very thin especially from great hunger, worry, or pain

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Hag·​gard ˈha-gərd How to pronounce Haggard (audio)
Sir (Henry) Rider 1856–1925 English novelist

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