hir·​sute | \ ˈhər-ˌsüt How to pronounce hirsute (audio) , ˈhir-; ˌhər-ˈsüt, hir- How to pronounce hirsute (audio) \

Definition of hirsute

1 : hairy sense 1 his hirsute chest
2 : covered with coarse stiff hairs a hirsute leaf

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Other Words from hirsute

hirsuteness noun

Did You Know?

Hirsute has nearly the same spelling and exactly the same meaning as its Latin parent, hirsutus. The word isn't quite one of a kind, though; it has four close relatives: hirsutism and hirsuties, synonymous nouns naming a medical condition involving excessive hair growth; hirsutal, an adjective meaning "of or relating to hair"; and hirsutulous, a mostly botanical term meaning "slightly hairy" (as in hirsutulous stems). The latter three are not especially common but are entered in our Unabridged Dictionary.

Examples of hirsute in a Sentence

wore a hirsute mask as part of his werewolf costume
Recent Examples on the Web Felix Silla, the actor best known as hirsute Cousin Itt on the 1960s TV show The Addams Family, has died. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Felix Silla, the original Cousin Itt on The Addams Family, dies at 84," 17 Apr. 2021 Palmieri was all but unrecognizable at his first practice with the Islanders, free of his hirsute beard per Lamoriello policy. BostonGlobe.com, "Health and future of goaltending looms as largest question for Bruins as trade deadline nears," 10 Apr. 2021 Dozens of men, several flamboyantly hirsute in the Old West style, vastly outnumber the women. Los Angeles Times, "Column: In Nevada, women take charge. You can tell the difference," 16 Mar. 2021 Huge, hairy, and with a pair of fearsome tusks, mastodons resembled stocky, hirsute elephants. Nicola Davis, Wired, "Climate Change Drove the American Mastodon to Extinction," 5 Sep. 2020 Patricia also has noticed the difference in Hockenson, whose attitude and hirsute new look are easily appreciated by his coach. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Lions' TJ Hockenson optimistic after training with college teammate/All-Pro George Kittle," 19 Aug. 2020 First came the Greens, founded in 1980, who quickly morphed from hirsute radicals into a party of government. The Economist, "The splintering states A pact with the far right in Thuringia rattles German politics," 6 Feb. 2020 In the office, the manager of the Solutions team, a hirsute man with a belly laugh, presented me with a series of questions and puzzles. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Four Years in Startups," 23 Sep. 2019 The less lucky of the lot are Madeleine Gonsalvus and her little brother, sons of the hirsute man Petrus Gonsalvus, painted in all their hairy elegance in 1580. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "“The Spitzmaus Mummy and Other Treasures,” an Exhibition Curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Opens at the Fondazione Prada," 22 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hirsute.' 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 hirsute

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hirsute

Latin hirsutus; akin to Latin horrēre to bristle — more at horror

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Time Traveler for hirsute

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The first known use of hirsute was in 1621

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hirsute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hirsute. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for hirsute



English Language Learners Definition of hirsute

formal + often humorous : having a lot of hair especially on the face or body


hir·​sute | \ ˈhər-ˌsüt How to pronounce hirsute (audio) , ˈhi(ə)r- How to pronounce hirsute (audio) , ˌhər-ˈ, hi(ə)r-ˈ \

Medical Definition of hirsute

: very hairy

Other Words from hirsute

hirsuteness noun

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