1 : gray or white with or as if with age
2 : extremely old : ancient
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, hār, which appeared in Beowulf. That hoary ancestor evolved over time into hoar, a synonym of ancient. 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). The venerable hoar also remains as a synonym of hoary and as a component of compounds such as hoarfrost.
The lichen gives the rocks a hoary appearance.
"Take encouragement from this hoary truth: No matter how bad things get, you can always make them worse." — Paul McHugh, The Sacramento (California) Bee, 19 Dec. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What word beginning with "f" is a synonym of hoary that can also describe a cold temperature or manner?VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP