From Middle English hery, heeri, hary, equivalent to hair + -y. Compare Saterland Frisian hierich (“hairy”), West Frisian hierrich (“hairy”), Dutch harig (“hairy”), German Low German harig (“hairy”), German haarig (“hairy”), Swedish hårig (“hairy”), Icelandic hárugur (“hairy”). Compare also Old English hǣriht (“hairy”) and ġehǣre (“hairy”).
- Of a person, having a lot of hair on the body.
- a hairy man
- Of an animal, having a lot of fur.
- hairy mammoth
- Of a body part other than the head, having hair growing from it.
- She is a great admirer of hairy chests.
- (informal) Difficult, complex, intricate, or intimidating.
- It’s a hairy problem, and will probably take several weeks to sort out.
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