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Hair shirt   /hɛr ʃərt/   Listen
Hair shirt

An uncomfortable shirt made of coarse animal hair; worn next to the skin as a penance.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Hair shirt" Quotes from Famous Books

... in the place of war and theology, meant the dawn of material prosperity, of the rule of law, and of a new intelligence diffused through the opinions and industries of men. Of this there is no better exposition than Sir Thomas More's "Utopia." More was a devout Catholic. He wore a hair shirt next his skin; he flogged himself; he gave his life for a theological principle. But he was also a Christian in a wider sense. He appreciated the importance to men of peace and happiness, as well as of orthodoxy. ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... and give the seed a hold wherever it enters: the slightest touch gives it an entering motion, and the little hooks prevent its working out. These seeds are so abundant in some spots, that the inside of the stocking becomes worse than the roughest hair shirt. It is, however, an excellent self-sower, and fine fodder; it rises to the height of common meadow-grass in England, and would be a capital plant for spreading over a new country not so abundantly supplied with grasses as ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... of twelve years old, from a little lane at Abingdon that still bears his name. He found his school in an inn that belonged to the abbey of Eynsham where his father had taken refuge from the world. His mother was a pious woman of the day, too poor to give her boy much outfit besides the hair shirt that he promised to wear every Wednesday; but Edmund was no poorer than his neighbours. He plunged at once into the nobler life of the place, its ardour for knowledge, its mystical piety. "Secretly," perhaps at ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

Words linked to "Hair shirt" :   shirt

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