Definition of hoary
1 : gray or white with or as if with age bowed his hoary head
2 : extremely old : ancient hoary legends
hoary was our Word of the Day on 02/25/2017. Hear the podcast!
Examples of hoary in a sentence
a hoary tale of revenge
He bowed his hoary head.
a man hoary with age
Did You Know?
How to save the old that's worth saving ... is one of our greatest problems. British novelist John Galsworthy knew the value of preserving the past - and he would likely have counted "hoary" among those old things worth saving. The word is old indeed; it traces to an Old English adjective that appeared in Beowulf. That "hoary" ancestor evolved into "hoar," a synonym of "ancient" that has been part of our language since before the 12th century. "Hoary" developed from "hoar" more than 475 years ago, and since then it has been used for anything that is old or that has the whitened look of age (from the hoary bat to the hoary willow). Venerable "hoar" also remains as a synonym of "hoary" and as a component of compounds such as "hoarfrost."
First Known Use of hoary
HOARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hoary for English Language Learners
: very old
: not interesting, funny, etc., because of being used too often : not fresh or original
: having gray or white hair
HOARY Defined for Kids
Definition of hoary for Students
1 : very old a hoary tale
2 : having gray or white hair a hoary head
Seen and Heard
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