1. [syn: hairy, haired, hirsute]
2. hazardous and frightening;
- Example: "hairy moments in the mountains"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Hairy \Hair"y\ (-[y^]), a.
1. Bearing or covered with hair; made of or resembling hair;
rough with hair; hirsute.
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge. --Milton.
2. Very complicated, difficult, or involved; as, a hairy
problem; a hairy equation. [Colloq.]
3. Dangerous or frightening; as, a hairy encounter with a
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: having or covered with hair; "Jacob was a hairy man"; "a
hairy caterpillar" [syn: hairy, haired, hirsute]
2: hazardous and frightening; "hairy moments in the mountains"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
145 Moby Thesaurus words for "hairy":
Herculean, abstruse, arduous, asperous, barbellate, barfy, bearded,
bewhiskered, bristled, bristling, bristly, brutal, bum, bushy,
capillary, chancy, cheesy, cirrose, cirrous, comate, complex,
complicated, confused, confusing, craggy, crappy, creepy, critical,
crummy, dangerous, delicate, demanding, difficile, difficult,
dirty, downy, exacting, fibered, fibroid, fibrous, flagelliform,
fleecy, flocculent, flossy, fluffy, formidable, frightening,
fringy, funicular, furry, fuzzy, glochidiate, godawful, goshawful,
gossamery, grim, hairlike, hard, hard-earned, hard-fought, harsh,
hazardous, hirsute, hispid, icky, intricate, jagged, jawbreaking,
jeopardous, knotted, knotty, laborious, lanate, ligamental, matted,
mean, nappy, nerve-racking, no picnic, not easy, operose, perilous,
pilose, precarious, problematic, pubescent, punk, putrid, rigorous,
risky, ropy, rough, rugged, scabrous, scary, scraggy,
set with thorns, setaceous, setose, setous, severe, shagged,
shaggy, shitty, silky, spiny, steep, stinking, stinky, strenuous,
strigal, strigate, strigose, stringy, stubbled, stubbly, studded,
taeniate, taeniform, tangled, thorny, threadlike, thready,
ticklish, toilsome, tough, treacherous, trichoid, tricky, tufted,
uncertain, uneven, unhealthy, unshaven, unshorn, unsmooth, unsound,
uphill, vomity, whiskered, wicked, wiry, woolly, worrying,
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
1. Annoyingly complicated. ?DWIM is incredibly hairy.?
2. Incomprehensible. ?DWIM is incredibly hairy.?
3. Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert, and/or
incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context: ?He knows this hairy
lawyer who says there's nothing to worry about.? See also hirsute.
There is a theorem in simplicial homology theory which states that any
continuous tangent field on a 2-sphere is null at least in a point.
Mathematically literate hackers tend to associate the term ?hairy? with the
informal version of this theorem; ?You can't comb a hairy ball smooth.?
(Previous versions of this entry associating the above informal statement
with the Brouwer fixed-point theorem were incorrect.)
The adjective ?long-haired? is well-attested to have been in slang use
among scientists and engineers during the early 1950s; it was equivalent to
modern hairy senses 1 and 2, and was very likely ancestral to the hackish
use. In fact the noun ?long-hair? was at the time used to describe a person
satisfying sense 3. Both senses probably passed out of use when long hair
was adopted as a signature trait by the 1960s counterculture, leaving
hackish hairy as a sort of stunted mutant relic.
In British mainstream use, ?hairy? means ?dangerous?, and consequently, in
British programming terms, ?hairy? may be used to denote complicated and/or
incomprehensible code, but only if that complexity or incomprehesiveness is
also considered dangerous.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
1. Annoyingly complicated. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."
2. Incomprehensible. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."
3. Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert,
and/or incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context:
"He knows this hairy lawyer who says there's nothing to worry
about." See also hirsute.
The adjective "long-haired" is well-attested to have been in
slang use among scientists and engineers during the early
1950s; it was equivalent to modern "hairy" and was very likely
ancestral to the hackish use. In fact the noun "long-hair"
was at the time used to describe a hairy person. Both senses
probably passed out of use when long hair was adopted as a
signature trait by the 1960s counterculture, leaving hackish
"hairy" as a sort of stunted mutant relic.
4. hairy ball.