Word of the Week (WOW) – Hirsute


Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:


 Word: Hirsute

Pronunciation: hir-sute (hur-soot)

Part of Speech: Adjective

Noun: Hirsuteness (hir-sute-ness)


1. Hairy; shaggy : having a lot of body hair, especially on the face or body


2. (Biology) Covered with coarse, stiff hairs (as a hirute leaf)

Heliotropium Indicum at Kadavoor © 2010 Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India. Creative Commons. A common weed in waste and settled areas. Native to Asia.


bristly, bushy, cottony, fleecy, furred, furry, hairy, rough, shaggy, unshorn, unshaven, woolly, bearded, bewhiskered


bald, furless, glabrous, hairless, shorn, smooth

Word Origin:  

Early 17th Century from Latin hirsutus (shaggy). Akin to Latin horrére, meaning to bristle and hirtus, meaning hairy.

Use in a sentence: 

1. Many hirute males believe that chest hair makes them feel more manly.

2. Olaf was a large, hirsute Viking with an aggressive, blustery personality.


3. (Noun) Hirsuteness in men is often seen as a sign of attractiveness.

4. I found a really hirsute caterpillar feeding on one of our growing cabbages this morning.

Hirsute caterpillar of a Java moth. Attribution gbohne from Berlin, Germany.

I think this is a good word to use when describing hairy people, plants, insects and so on. It definitely adds a little something more to a sentence than merely saying ‘hairy’. It can be used to describe women too, of course, although, apart from ‘The Bearded Lady’* of Victorian fame it would not generally refer to facial hair. In women, the condition of excessive hair growth – usually dark and thick rather than fine and fair – is called HIRSUTISM.

* If anyone has never heard of this sad story, Ive added link to a Wiki page about one of these ladies HERE. (There are similar stories of other women who suffered this affliction.)

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

24 thoughts on “Word of the Week (WOW) – Hirsute

  1. Extremely interesting word and post Millie. I read the write-up about Annie Jones and that truly is sad. What a sad life for a little girl. I love reading your weekly, “WOWs”.

    1. Thank you, PJ. I’m so glad you followed the link, too. It’s a very sad story, as are several others like it. The Victorians made such people ‘freaks’ in their silly shows. How appalling is that! I do enjoy doing these word posts. Finding all the information and illustrations for them is great fun. 🙂

      1. I agree with you. That is terribly sad they turned them into freaks! All it is is a genetic disorder. It was very interesting. Every week your Word posts are very interesting and I enjoy reading them.

      2. So do I. Values were very different in Victorian times. Thank goodness things are different now, and unfortunate people aren’t humiliated and ridiculed in such places.

      3. I completely agree. I am glad that TLC produces programs about people that are different. This way, other people are able to understand them, relate to them and learn to view them as people like everyone else and not freaks. (Little people, very tiny people, twins that are born attached to each other, and people with various levels of deformities, including very obese people).

  2. The WOW this time was seriously so hilarious especially when I saw the first pic. I just couldn’t stop laughing 😛 What a fun way to learn new word! 😉 Thank you so much Millie! ❤

  3. I just found my new favorite word to call and tease my man. Haha! Thank you, Millie! This is a great post! ❤

    1. My feelings exactly. They weren’t my viewpoints I was expressing! Some types of hirsute are downright offputting, to put it mildly. Hirsute dogs are just cute, as are hirsure cats, guinea pigs and so on … Glad we agree on that one. 🙂

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