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[hawrs, hohrs] /hɔrs, hoʊrs/
adjective, hoarser, hoarsest.
having a vocal tone characterized by weakness of intensity and excessive breathiness; husky:
the hoarse voice of the auctioneer.
having a raucous voice.
making a harsh, low sound.
1350-1400; Middle English hors < Old Norse *hārs (assumed variant of hāss); replacing Middle English hoos, Old English hās, cognate with Old High German heis, Old Saxon hēs
Related forms
hoarsely, adverb
hoarseness, noun
Can be confused
hoarse, horse.
1. harsh, grating; throaty, rough. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hoarsely
  • It screams hoarsely and loudly, for no obvious reason.
  • Now, on mild evenings, only an occasional one is heard rasping hoarsely.
  • Usually quiet and aloof, the bulls become quarrelsome and can be heard bellowing hoarsely.
British Dictionary definitions for hoarsely


gratingly harsh or raucous in tone
low, harsh, and lacking in intensity: a hoarse whisper
having a husky voice, as through illness, shouting, etc
Derived Forms
hoarsely, adverb
hoarseness, noun
Word Origin
C14: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hās, Old Saxon hēs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hoarsely



late 14c., hors, earlier hos, from Old English has "hoarse," from Proto-Germanic *haisa- (cf. Old Saxon hes, Old Norse hass, Dutch hees, Old High German heisi, German heiser "hoarse"), perhaps originally meaning "dried out, rough." The -r- is difficult to explain; it is first attested c.1400, but it may indicate an unrecorded Old English variant *hars. Related: Hoarsely; hoarseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hoarsely in Medicine

hoarse (hôrs)
adj. hoars·er, hoars·est

  1. Rough or grating in sound, as of a voice.

  2. Having or characterized by a husky, grating voice.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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