adjective, hair·i·er, hair·i·est.

  1. covered with hair; having much hair.
  2. consisting of or resembling hair: moss of a hairy texture.
  3. Informal.
    1. causing anxiety or fright: a hairy trip through the rapids.
    2. full of hardship or difficulty: a hairy exam; a hairy illness.

adjective hairier or hairiest

  1. having or covered with hair
  2. slang
    1. difficult or problematic
    2. scaring, dangerous, or exciting

early 14c., from hair + -y (2). From 1848 in slang sense of “difficult.” Farmer calls this “Oxford slang.” Perhaps from the notion of “rugged, rough.” Related: Hairiness.


  1. Covered with hair or hairlike projections.
  2. Consisting of or resembling hair.
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