hoary

adjective \ ˈhȯr-ē \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of hoary

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

hoariness

noun

hoary was our Word of the Day on 02/25/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of hoary in a Sentence

  1. a hoary tale of revenge

  2. He bowed his hoary head.

  3. a man hoary with age

Recent Examples of hoary from the Web

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

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

1530


HOARY Defined for English Language Learners

hoary

adjective

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

hoary

adjective \ ˈhȯr-ē \

Definition of hoary for Students

hoarier; hoariest
1 : very old
  • a hoary tale
2 : having gray or white hair
  • a hoary head


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