A Word A Day : Hoary

Thursday, 21st February 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective)

Pronunciation : háwree


1. old and stale from overuse

2. describes hair that has become white or gray with age

3. covered with gray or white hairs

4. so old as to inspire veneration

5. tedious from familiarity

6. showing characteristics of age

7. belonging to, existing or occurring in times long past

comparative : hoarier
superlative : hoariest


Origin : bef. 900; ME hor, OE hār; c. ON hārr gray with age, OFris hér gray, OHG hér old


age-old, ancient, antediluvian, antiquated, antique, archaic, old, olden, old-time, timeworn, venerable, overused, stale, worn, worn-out, white, snow-white, whitened, snowy, silvery, silver, silvered, gray, grayed, elderly, trite


fresh, contemporary, modern, new, young, cutting edge, forward-looking, modernistic, recent, original

Contextual Examples:

• When at some distance from the multitude, the old man turned slowly round, displaying a face of antique majesty, rendered doubly venerable by the hoary beard that descended on his breast.

• Please don't tell that hoary joke at dinner again tonight.

• Do we have to hear those hoary knock-knock jokes again?

• The grayness of the whole immense surface, the wind furrows upon the faces of the waves, the great masses of foam, tossed about and waving, like matted white locks, give to the sea in a gale an appearance of hoary age, lustreless, dull, without gleams, as though it had been created before light itself.

Related Words:

hoarily : Adverb

hoariness : Noun

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