hare

noun
\ ˈher How to pronounce hare (audio) \
plural hare or hares

Definition of hare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of various swift, gnawing, herbivorous, usually shy lagomorph mammals (family Leporidae and especially genus Lepus) that have long ears, short tails, and powerful long hind legs, are usually solitary or sometimes live in pairs, have the young open-eyed and furred at birth, and live in aboveground nests — compare rabbit sense 1a

hare

verb
hared; haring

Definition of hare (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to go swiftly : tear entry 1 hare off down the road

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Did You Know?

Verb

No doubt you've heard Aesop's fable about the speedy hare and the plodding tortoise. The hare may have lost that race due to a tactical error (stopping to take a nap before reaching the finish line), but the long-eared mammal's overall reputation for swiftness remains intact. It's no surprise, then, that hare is used as a verb meaning "to move quickly." The noun hare (which refers, in its most specific zoological sense, to a member of the genus Lepus, whose young are usually able to hop a few minutes after birth) is a very old word. It first appeared as hara in a Latin-Old English glossary around the year 700. The verb was in use by the end of the 19th century, and people have been "haring off" and "haring about" ever since.

Examples of hare in a Sentence

Verb

He came haring round the corner at top speed. she's always haring off to attend to some emergency

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And with the special day fast approaching, your kids are probably starting to eagerly anticipate the treats and gifts that the mythical hare will leave in their Easter baskets this year. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "Your Kids Can Use This Cute Smartphone App to Call the Easter Bunny," 11 Mar. 2019 But, just like Santa Claus and Christmas, the mysterious hare has no obvious connections to the Christian significance of this post-Lent holy day. Jenae Sitzes, Country Living, "The Easter Bunny Origin Story: Where Did The Easter Bunny Actually Come From?," 8 Mar. 2019 Just like the tortoise and the hare, some babies get off to a fast start crawling soon after their first half birthday — while others take it slow and steady. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019 And yet the story rolls on, oblivious and hare-brained. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Romanoffs’ Review: Far From Revolutionary," 11 Oct. 2018 If someone spots a hare and decides to go after it, the stag escapes and everyone else ends up hungry. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Low-caste men in India cooperate like college students," 7 Nov. 2018 Also, the characters are technically hares in this version of the tale, not rabbits. Aja Romano, Vox, "Netflix’s new Watership Down proves the beloved children’s classic was a horror story all along," 30 Dec. 2018 For the moment, Musk the hare had darted ahead: His powerful Falcon 9 rocket had lifted a payload into orbit, whereas Bezos’ smaller New Shephard craft had merely gone up into the edge of space and returned. Walter Isaacson, New York Times, "In This Space Race, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk Are Competing to Take You There," 24 Apr. 2018 Ground crews reportedly found only one hare carcass, leading to speculation that another had been sucked into the engine. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Aer Lingus flight turns back after possibly sucking hare into engine," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Karius looked stricken as the game ticked through its final minutes, as Cristiano Ronaldo hared around, desperately searching for the goal that would allow him his moment in the spotlight. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Real Madrid Beats Liverpool in Champions League Final on a Wonder and Two Blunders," 27 May 2018 Sadio Mane intercepted a stray pass on the edge of his area, before playing a through ball between two defenders to set Mohamed Salah haring down the line. Matias Grez, CNN, "Liverpool stun Manchester City to take commanding lead in Champions League tie," 4 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of hare

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hare

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English hara; akin to Old High German haso hare, Sanskrit śaśa, Old English hasu gray

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Statistics for hare

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hare

The first known use of hare was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hare

hare

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a fast animal that resembles a rabbit

hare

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hare (Entry 2 of 2)

British, informal : to run or go very quickly

hare

noun
\ ˈher How to pronounce hare (audio) \

Kids Definition of hare

: a gnawing animal that resembles the related rabbit but is usually larger and tends to live by itself

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More from Merriam-Webster on hare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hare

Spanish Central: Translation of hare

Nglish: Translation of hare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hare for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hare

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