\ ˈhȯr-ē How to pronounce hoary (audio) \
hoarier; hoariest

Definition of hoary

1 : gray or white with or as if with age bowed his hoary head
2 : extremely old : ancient hoary legends

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hoary

hoariness noun

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."

Examples of hoary in a Sentence

a hoary tale of revenge He bowed his hoary head. a man hoary with age
See More

First Known Use of hoary

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hoary

Statistics for hoary

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hoary

The first known use of hoary was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hoary



English Language Learners Definition of hoary

: very old
: not interesting, funny, etc., because of being used too often : not fresh or original
literary : having gray or white hair


\ ˈhȯr-ē How to pronounce hoary (audio) \
hoarier; hoariest

Kids Definition of hoary

1 : very old a hoary tale
2 : having gray or white hair a hoary head

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hoary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoary

Spanish Central: Translation of hoary

Nglish: Translation of hoary for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hoary

What made you want to look up hoary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!