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

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 Latin hirsutus is also an etymological cousin to horrēre, meaning "to bristle." Horrēre gave rise to Latin horrōr-, horror, which has the various meanings of "standing stiffly," "bristling," "shivering," "dread," "consternation," and is the source, via Anglo-French, of our word horror. The word horripilation—a fancy word for goose bumps—is also a hirsute relation; its Latin source, horripilāre, means "to shudder," and was formed from horrēre and pilus ("hair").

Examples of hirsute in a Sentence

wore a hirsute mask as part of his werewolf costume
Recent Examples on the Web In my main feed and the app’s Explore and Reels tabs, Instagram was building a crescendo of shock: There were babies missing limbs, babies with bulging veins, babies with too-small heads, babies with too-big heads, even hirsute babies. Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 The clip then transitions to a shot of a string quartet playing swelling chords as Cave’s hirsute collaborator, Warren Ellis, conducts them dramatically. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 3 Feb. 2022 She’s wearing a halter and hot pants and sitting between two hirsute guys with big hair and beards. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2022 Acne also released a hirsute cow-print boot that almost hit the knee. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 21 Jan. 2022 But the trailer for the film, which also showcases Jodie Comer and Adam Driver, displays a hirsute horror for the two consummate movie stars. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 14 Sep. 2021 No doubt channeling his energy into these efforts, rather than hirsute pursuits, has proven a lot more gratifying to Denning. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, 16 Aug. 2021 Dusty Hill, the hirsute bass player with ZZ Top, has passed away at 72. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 29 July 2021 The mother here, in contrast, after a certain understandable initial ambivalence about her hirsute transformation, begins to see her unruly life and unruly flesh, with its milk and cravings and teeth, as a source of inspiration. BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of hirsute was in 1621

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hirsute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hirsute. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hirsute


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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