mo·​hair | \ ˈmō-ˌher How to pronounce mohair (audio) \

Definition of mohair

: a fabric or yarn made wholly or in part of the long silky hair of the Angora goat also : this hair

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Mohair entered the English language in the 16th century, spelled variously as "mocayare," "mockaire," "mokayre," and "moochary." It was borrowed from Italian mocaiarro, a word which itself was borrowed from Arabic mukhayyar. The adjective mukhayyar meant "select" or "choice." How this Arabic adjective came to be the English noun "mohair" is a bit of a mystery. It is possible that "mukhayyar" was used as a colloquial noun in the sense of "wool of prime quality" (that is, "choice wool"). In English, the shift from "mocayare" and similar spellings to "mohair" was likely influenced by the more familiar English word hair.

Examples of mohair in a Sentence

a sweater made of mohair and silk
Recent Examples on the Web What appear to be high-pile mohair pullovers are in fact pure cashmere; jacket lapels are notched low; and coat collars come extended on one side with a flap that buttons. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Other elements of the dramatic room include a large curved grey metal bar; a mirror-polished champagne metal ceiling that reflects the skyline; dark oak flooring; tables in both marble and sycamore wood; and mohair upholstered banquettes. Shivani Vora, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 It is made of mohair in the traditional style, Martin Hermann, the company’s owner, said. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021 The soft wool-mohair blend knit with stretch is flattering yet practical. Angela Lei, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 That dining room — a sea of deep red leather, velvet, and mohair booths and chairs — will be the real show, especially in the evening. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2021 Sure, there was her on-trend crop top that showed a sliver of midriff, her striped green and white mohair cardigan, and her hulking brown aviator jacket with a shearling lining. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 12 Mar. 2021 The sofa by George Smith is upholstered in a Pierre Frey mohair, the coffee table is by BDDW, and the rug is from the Gardener’s House. Kate Mcgregor, ELLE Decor, 26 Mar. 2021 Made in Italy from a premium wool and mohair-blend cloth for crease-resistance, this two-piece suit features a summer-ready pastel blue colour. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 10 May 2021

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

1569, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mohair

modification of obsolete Italian mocaiarro, from Arabic mukhayyar, literally, choice

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Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mohair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for mohair



English Language Learners Definition of mohair

: an expensive fabric or wool made from the long, soft hair of a goat from Asia


mo·​hair | \ ˈmō-ˌher How to pronounce mohair (audio) \

Kids Definition of mohair

: a fabric or yarn made from the long silky hair of an Asian goat

More from Merriam-Webster on mohair

Nglish: Translation of mohair for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mohair


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