mo·​hair ˈmō-ˌher How to pronounce mohair (audio)
: a fabric or yarn made wholly or in part of the long silky hair of the Angora goat
also : this hair

Did you know?

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.

Example Sentences

a sweater made of mohair and silk
Recent Examples on the Web The latest edition to my wardrobe is also its crowning glory: my tan mohair cardigan from Nice as Heck, a small contemporary label that focuses on sustainability via its operations and a celebration of nature via its designs. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 Dec. 2022 For example, synthetic materials like acrylic or polyester are cheaper to make than fabrics such as wool or mohair. Jasmine Hyman Published, Peoplemag, 8 Dec. 2022 The Laundress’s formula has a lower pH to better care for wool, mohair, cashmere and more as well as notes of cedar for a lovely scent. Jodhaira Rodriguez, Good Housekeeping, 16 Aug. 2022 Later wool and mohair became the mainstay of Uvalde’s economy with the introduction of angora goats to the hills above town. Dallas News, 24 May 2022 Blister Resist socks are made from Drynamix, a synthetic material that wicks sweat away from the skin, and all-natural mohair that ensures your feet don’t get too hot or cold. Elaheh Nozari, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Oct. 2022 The caterpillars eat animal fibers, meaning wool, mohair, cashmere, leather, fur and feathers. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2022 The custom chairs are Les Ensembliers in Lualaba wool fabric by Gaston Y Daniela, and the custom ottoman is Les Ensembliers in platinum countess mohair from Kravet. Allison Duncan, House Beautiful, 20 Dec. 2022 The car's cabin comes with a set of floor mats made of linen and mohair, which is yarn made from goat hair, and there's a set of rose gold-colored champagne flutes. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1569, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mohair was in 1569


Dictionary Entries Near mohair

Cite this Entry

“Mohair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


mo·​hair ˈmō-ˌha(ə)r How to pronounce mohair (audio)
: a fabric or yarn made of or with the long silky hair of the Angora goat
also : the hair of the Angora goat

More from Merriam-Webster on mohair

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