haggard was our Word of the Day on 12/03/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of haggard in a sentence
She looked tired and haggard.
We were shocked by his haggard appearance.
Did You Know?
Haggard comes from falconry, the sport of hunting with a trained bird of prey. The birds used in falconry were not bred in captivity until very recently. Traditionally, falconers trained wild birds that were either taken from the nest when quite young or trapped as adults. A bird trapped as an adult is termed a haggard, from the Middle French hagard. Such a bird is notoriously wild and difficult to train, and it wasn't long before the falconry sense of haggard was being applied in an extended way to a "wild" and intractable person. Next, the word came to express the way the human face looks when a person is exhausted, anxious, or terrified. Today, the most common meaning of haggard is "gaunt" or "worn."
Origin and Etymology of haggard
Middle French hagard
First Known Use: 1567
Definition of haggard
1 : an adult hawk caught wild
2 obsolete : an intractable person
Definition of Haggard
Sir (Henry) Rider 1856–1925 English novelist
HAGGARD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of haggard for English Language Learners
: looking very thin and tired especially from great hunger, worry, or pain
HAGGARD Defined for Kids
Definition of haggard for Students
: having a hungry, tired, or worried look … she stared down at the table at a loss for words and then, at last, she raised a haggard face. — Mary Norton, The Borrowers
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