Definition of hoary in English:


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adjectiveadjective hoarier, adjective hoariest

  • 1Grayish white.

    ‘hoary cobwebs’
    • ‘The painstakingly raised and restored Vasa and Mary Rose, favourites of Kings Gustavus Adolphus and Henry VIII respectively, are threatened by a chemical reaction as their hoary old timbers dry out.’
    • ‘The Fifth Commandment of the Bible reminds us to honor our fathers and mothers and to ‘rise up before the hoary head of the old man, to pay respect to the elders of the tribe’.’
    • ‘And even if you could never bring yourself to back England, there is some good news - now they've finally won a World Cup, those hoary old pictures of the 1966 final might finally get put to the back of the cupboard.’
    • ‘What I guessed to be a hawk's feather hung from the back of his skull, probably tied there by a short leather thong attached to his hoary mane.’
    • ‘Already topping hoary hair the man was not someone that attracted attention, nor did he hold the commanding aura that previous councillors of his seat demanded.’
    • ‘They had long been sailing west upon their expeditious and stead ship, the sun had now sat upon her throne, and her red and gold stallions that drew her chariot pranced among the hoary clouds.’
    • ‘For blossoming from this scoundrel's chin was a hoary beard of such robustness and grooming that it called to mind a cloud brought to the shape of a man's face by the Lord himself.’
    • ‘Deep within the second month, when hoary frost braces the ground,’
    • ‘While some WWII casualties have been salvaged, many of the wrecks that litter the unique Rock Island eco-system are full of marine life and hoary artefacts.’
    • ‘Eric gazed into the small, hoary, glass-like balls.’
    greyish white, grey, white, silver, silvery
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    1. 1.1(of a person) having gray or white hair; aged.
      ‘a hoary old fellow with a face of white stubble’
      • ‘He stands to guide me to the door, then stops to point out a photo of himself looking somewhat starstruck and goofy-grinned beside four hoary men, his mayoral predecessors.’
      • ‘Dropping the pencil abruptly, she looks up at her hoary teacher, ‘Ma'am?’’
      • ‘No, what's really disturbing about the whole phenomenon is the emergence of a new breed of hoary old pop marketing men who don't even feel the need to pretend they are anything else.’
      • ‘He was that old, hoary kind of Fleet Street hack with newsprint-stained fingers.’
      • ‘Popular impressions of the British soldier during the Georgian era continue to be dominated by hoary stereotypes.’
      elderly, aged, old, getting on, ancient, venerable, long in the tooth, of an advanced age, advanced in years
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    2. 1.2attributive Used in names of animals and plants covered with whitish fur or short hairs, e.g. hoary bat, hoary cress.
      ‘No amphibian or terrestrial reptile, and only one terrestrial mammal, the hoary bat, completed the journey on its own.’
      • ‘Ms Lloyd said hoary cress had an extensive root system that choked grain and horticulture crops and pastures.’
      • ‘Ross reported that 136 of 139 stomachs of hoary bats from New Mexico contained moths; flying ants were in 9 bats.’
      • ‘The islands' biggest native mammal is the hoary bat.’
      • ‘Plants here include prairie rose, nodding onion, gray-headed coneflower, butterfly weed, green milkweed, hoary puccoon, and even eastern prickly pear cactus.’
      • ‘Hawaii may have no native terrestrial mammals, but the islands do harbor one native aquatic mammal, the monk seal, and one native flying mammal, the hoary bat.’
      • ‘The endangered Hawaiian hoary bat also roosts there.’
      • ‘Strange birds made ominous sounds, and small scurrying creatures fled into the protection of the hoary underbrush.’
      • ‘Songbirds also live here, including the snow bunting, raven, American tree sparrow, and hoary redpoll.’
      • ‘The refuse dump-sewage lagoons had the largest numbers of waterfowl, herring gulls, and hoary redpolls, but the lowest diversity index.’
  • 2Old and trite.

    ‘that hoary American notion that bigger is better’
    • ‘Can we just agree on that, and never see these hoary and overused devices again?’
    • ‘Like the hoary old cliché, ‘Oh, I only watch the documentaries on TV not those dreadful soaps!’’
    • ‘My other hope is that all the Councillors will move beyond their personal interests and hoary old arguments to support the Mayor and an outcome that is the only feasible option for Lismore.’
    • ‘To argue that the legal ownership of firearms by the citizens are a source for criminals is a hoary old story that has been disproved over hundreds of years.’
    • ‘His workplace relations minister begrudges a modest pay rise for the lowly paid, trotting out the hoary old chestnut that better pay costs jobs.’
    • ‘As the hoary old chestnut goes, we take our freedom for granted.’
    • ‘It is an odd moment for parents when their children's answers to that hoary old question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’’
    • ‘Better late than never’ is one of those hoary aphorisms hauled out by those who prefer soundbites to scrutiny.’
    • ‘His jokes may be hoary, but the glint in his eye is youthful; the footwork may be on the weather-beaten side, but his welcoming smirk is ageless.’
    trite, hackneyed, clichéd, banal, platitudinous, vapid, ordinary, commonplace, common, stock, conventional, stereotyped, predictable, overused, overdone, overworked, stale, worn out, time-worn, tired, threadbare, hack, unimaginative, unoriginal, derivative, uninspired, prosaic, routine, pedestrian, run-of-the-mill
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/ˈhôrē/ /ˈhɔri/