hair ball

noun

Definition of hair ball

: 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hair ball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hair ball

1712, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best cat food.

Learn More About hair ball

Time Traveler for hair ball

Time Traveler

The first known use of hair ball was in 1712

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hair ball

hair's breadth

hair ball

hairbeard

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hair ball

Cite this Entry

“Hair ball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hair%20ball. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for hair ball

hair ball

noun

Medical Definition of hair ball

: 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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!