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[hawr, hohr] /hɔr, hoʊr/
hoarfrost; rime.
a hoary coating or appearance.
Origin of hoar
before 900; Middle English hor, Old English hār; cognate with Old Norse hārr gray with age, Old Frisian hēr gray, Old High German hēr old (German hehr august, sublime) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hoar
  • They're trying to understand hoar, frozen dew layers that can shatter when buried under snow, triggering an avalanche.
  • But with the hoar of the years, this tentativeness seems a welcome sign of humility.
  • The white button of a polar cap is a region covered thinly with hoar frost rather than heavily laden with ice and snow.
  • The cow got nourishment by licking the hoar frost and salt from the ice.
  • Temperatures dipped over the weekend and a heavy layer of hoar frost coated the trees at high elevation.
  • Light dances on newly formed hoar frost and creeps over bundles of fur and antlers starting to stir from a cold winter night.
British Dictionary definitions for hoar


short for hoarfrost
(rare) covered with hoarfrost
(archaic) a poetic variant of hoary
Word Origin
Old English hār; related to Old Norse hārr, Old High German hēr, Old Slavonic sěrǔ grey
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hoar

Old English har "hoary, gray, venerable, old," the connecting notion being gray hair, from Proto-Germanic *haira (cf. Old Norse harr "gray-haired, old," Old Saxon, Old High German her "distinguished, noble, glorious," German hehr), from PIE *kei-, source of color adjectives (see hue (n.1)). German also uses the word as a title of respect, in Herr. Of frost, it is recorded in Old English, perhaps expressing the resemblance of the white feathers of frost to an old man's beard. Used as an attribute of boundary stones in Anglo-Saxon, perhaps in reference to being gray with lichens, hence its appearance in place-names.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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