shag·​gy | \ ˈsha-gē How to pronounce shaggy (audio) \
shaggier; shaggiest

Definition of shaggy

1a : covered with or consisting of long, coarse, or matted hair
b : covered with or consisting of thick, tangled, or unkempt vegetation
c : having a rough nap, texture, or surface
d : having hairlike processes
2a : unkempt
b : confused or unclear in conception or thinking shaggy ideas a shaggy argument

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Other Words from shaggy

shaggily \ ˈsha-​gə-​lē How to pronounce shaggily (audio) \ adverb
shagginess \ ˈsha-​gē-​nəs How to pronounce shagginess (audio) \ noun

Examples of shaggy in a Sentence

a big, shaggy dog kept trying to lick my face a shaggy carpet that was a relic of the 1970s

Recent Examples on the Web

Expeditions in 2002 and 2010 videotaped odd anglers with a bulbous body, a shaggy lure and fins that the fish used to walk along the rocky seabed. William J. Broad, New York Times, "The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)," 29 July 2019 For an event to celebrate Deauville's 45th annual American Film Festival, Stewart stepped out with her usual shaggy pixie and punk demeanor, but rather than highlighted blonde tips, the front section of her hair was shaded a pastel hue. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kristen Stewart Has a New Fall Hair Color," 13 Sep. 2019 The soul of The Art of Racing in the Rain, adapted from Garth Stein’s 2008 novel, is Enzo, a canine with golden fur, soulful eyes and a way with words; his bons mots of shaggy wisdom come to us in the voice of Kevin Costner. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," 8 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, tour operators are looking to cash in on the shaggy behemoths before all the remains have been scavenged. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "A Mammoth Problem Emerges in Siberia," 10 July 2019 The place could be on a summer-camp brochure, a Swiss-style chalet situated on a 4,500-foot ridgeline with a 100-mile view into the shaggy blue forests of the middle Appalachians. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Airplanes That Rescue Ebola Patients," 5 July 2019 Striped throngs of zebra bound below among groups of red hartebeest and shaggy waterbuck. Paul Steyn, National Geographic, "How the world’s largest lion relocation was pulled off," 2 May 2019 The shaggy-haired right-hander held the St. Louis Cardinals, a playoff contender with potent bats, to two hits and one walk across six innings with Sandy Koufax in attendance. Los Angeles Times, "Tony Gonsolin aces his Dodger Stadium debut in victory over Cardinals," 5 Aug. 2019 The Barefoot Contessa,’’ director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s shaggy-dog satire of the film business starring Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner. Adam Bernstein,, "Valentina Cortese, Italian film actress, dies at 96," 10 July 2019

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

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for shaggy

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shaggy

The first known use of shaggy was in 1581

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More Definitions for shaggy



English Language Learners Definition of shaggy

: long and tangled
: covered with hair or fur that is long and tangled


shag·​gy | \ ˈsha-gē How to pronounce shaggy (audio) \
shaggier; shaggiest

Kids Definition of shaggy

: covered with or made up of a long and tangled growth (as of hair) The dog has a shaggy coat.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shaggy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaggy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaggy

Spanish Central: Translation of shaggy

Nglish: Translation of shaggy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shaggy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shaggy

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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