hair shirt

noun

Definition of hair shirt 

1 : a shirt made of rough animal hair worn next to the skin as a penance

2 : one that irritates like a hair shirt

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of hair shirt in a Sentence

the constant need to cut costs was a hair shirt, but one that the theater company had to live with

First Known Use of hair shirt

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hair shirt

Share hair shirt

Statistics for hair shirt

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hair shirt

The first known use of hair shirt was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on hair shirt

See words that rhyme with hair shirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hair shirt

Comments on hair shirt

What made you want to look up hair shirt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!