from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Foolish; flighty: a harebrained scheme.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. absurd, foolish or stupid
  • adj. frivolous and silly; featherbrained or scatterbrained

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wild; giddy; volatile; heedless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having or indicating, as it were, no more brain than a hare; giddy; heedless; reckless; wild.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. very foolish


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A federal judge has denied what he called a "harebrained" motion by Rod Blagojevich's lawyers over what they claimed was potential misconduct by the jury forewoman at his retrial.

    NYT > Home Page

  • At a hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, Steven R. Kartagener , Mr. Sebbag's lawyer, described the scheme as "harebrained," "crazy" and "stupid."

    Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Disney Tips Case

  • With the NYT as an object of "grassy-knoll" conspiracy theories, with bloggers feeding on "harebrained" speculation, pray tell why Bill Keller should be considered as any less credulous?

    William E. Jackson Jr.: Why Bill Keller Cannot 'Move On' From the Miller/Libby Scandal

  • I know he -- talked all kind of harebrained, talk a lot of garbage, sometimes.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2007

  • Dick grinned to himself, imagining the Captain's face if he showed up in the office with that kind of harebrained proposal.


  • Manchester United manager has dismissed the idea of introducing play-offs to determine the final Champions League place as "harebrained". news feed

  • Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has slammed the "harebrained" idea of introducing play-offs to decide the final Champions League spot.

    TEAMtalk Football News

  • Sir Alex Ferguson feels the notion of a Premier League play-off system to allow clubs finishing outside the top four to compete for a Champions League place is "harebrained".


  • Balancing the federal budget is not "harebrained" or "cynical" as the editorial writers suggest and the suggestion only reveals the out-of-touch thinking of The News Leader's editorial page. -

  • The only "harebrained" and "cynical" idea here is The News Leaders 'notion that the pursuit of a balanced budget, which they acknowledge is a "worthy" goal, should be abandoned. -


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  • FYI, here is the usage note from AHD:

    "The first use of harebrained dates to 1548. The spelling hairbrained also has a long history, going back to the 1500s when hair was a variant spelling of hare. The hair variant was preserved in Scotland into the 18th century, and as a result it is impossible to tell exactly when people began writing hairbrained in the belief that the word means "having a hair-sized brain" rather than "with no more sense than a hare." While hairbrained continues to be used and confused, it should be avoided in favor of harebrained which has been established as the correct spelling."

    October 22, 2007

  • not hairbrained

    October 21, 2007