hair ball

noun

: a compact mass of hair formed in the stomach especially of a shedding animal (such as a cat) that cleanses its coat by licking

Examples of hair ball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Of course, last February's crash was driven by a black-swan hair ball, the COVID pandemic. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2021 The personal histories of Khan’s characters are so enmeshed that tracing back their connections is like trying to untangle a hair ball. Maureen Corrigan, miamiherald, 22 Feb. 2018 That means no plucking hair balls out of the intake, and no worry of the vacuum malfunctioning mid-cycle. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, 11 Oct. 2017 What drives the critics wild is her personal writing and its nonstop examination of self, one damn hair ball at a time. Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, 11 Sep. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1712, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hair ball was in 1712

Dictionary Entries Near hair ball

Cite this Entry

“Hair ball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hair%20ball. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

hair ball

noun
: a compact mass of hair formed in the stomach especially of a shedding animal (as a cat) that cleanses its coat by licking

called also trichobezoar

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