- noun a long-eared furry animal, similar to but larger than a rabbit, with hind legs longer than forelegs
- A wild game animal resembling a large rabbit but which does not hop nor live in burrows. There are several varieties, the common, Scottish and the Mediterranean all distinguished from rabbit by their dark flesh and powerful back legs. The blood, which is collected for jugged hare, is prevented from coagulating by adding 5 ml of vinegar. Hares are usually hung by the legs for 5 to 10 days before being paunched. May be roasted, braised or stewed. Shooting season in the UK is from the 1st of August to the last day of February although it is not a law. Hare is not sold from March to July.
Origin & History of “hare”
The hare seems originally to have been named from its colour. The word comes from prehistoric west and north Germanic *khason, which also produced German hase, Dutch haas, and Swedish and Danish hare, and if as has been suggested it is related to Old English hasu ‘grey’ and Latin cascus ‘old’, its underlying meaning would appear to be ‘grey animal’ (just as the bear and the beaver are etymologically the ‘brown animal’, and the herring may be the ‘grey fish’). Harrier ‘dog for hunting hares’ (16th c.) was derived from hare on the model of Old French levrier (French lièvre means ‘hare’, and is related to English leveret ‘young hare’ (15th c.)); it was originally harer, and the present-day form arose from confusion with harrier ‘falcon’ (16th c.), a derivative of the verb harry.