hair shirt


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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Aiden needs neither hair shirt nor whip to self-flagellate, and Simone writes of depression with a visceral ache. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 11 Nov. 2021 To toughen it up, Ford resorted to that longtime crossover hair shirt, the roof rack. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 6 July 2020 Asking billions of people to don an unwashed hair shirt wouldn’t work; the solution would have to be rapid technological innovation. Jon Gertner, Wired, 1 Apr. 2020 Even a hair shirt worn voluntarily is uncomfortable. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, 27 Jan. 2020 Highlights from the list of 175 individual objects include a hair shirt and finger bone believed to have belonged to St. Nicholas -- better known as Santa Claus -- and relics from Christ's birthplace. Rory Sullivan, CNN, 18 Dec. 2019 Might fashion be the next business to suffer as consumers put on their environmental hair shirts? Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2019 On the evidence in these pages, a hair shirt will not be in Sunstein’s future. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, 20 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of hair shirt

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hair shirt

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hair shirt


hair shirt

hair sieve

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Statistics for hair shirt

Cite this Entry

“Hair shirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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