- the pelt or skin of one of the larger animals (cow, horse, buffalo, etc.), raw or dressed.
- the skin of a human being: Get out of here or I’ll tan your hide!
- safety or welfare: He’s only worried about his own hide.
- Australia and New Zealand Informal. impertinence; impudence.
verb (used with object), hid·ed, hid·ing.
- Informal. to administer a beating to; thrash.
- to protect (a rope, as a boltrope of a sail) with a covering of leather.
- hide nor hair, a trace or evidence, as of something missing: They didn’t find hide nor hair of the murder weapon.Also hide or hair.
verb hides, hiding, hid (hɪd), hidden (ˈhɪdən) or hid
- to put or keep (oneself or an object) in a secret place; conceal (oneself or an object) from view or discoveryto hide a pencil; to hide from the police
- (tr) to conceal or obscurethe clouds hid the sun
- (tr) to keep secret
- (tr) to turn (one’s head, eyes, etc) away
- British a place of concealment, usually disguised to appear as part of the natural environment, used by hunters, birdwatchers, etcUS and Canadian equivalent: blind
- the skin of an animal, esp the tough thick skin of a large mammal, either tanned or raw
- informal the human skin
- Australian and NZ informal impudence
verb hides, hiding or hided
- (tr) informal to flog
- an obsolete Brit unit of land measure, varying in magnitude from about 60 to 120 acres
Old English hydan “to hide, conceal; preserve; hide oneself; bury a corpse,” from West Germanic *hudjan (cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German huden), from PIE *keudh- (cf. Greek keuthein “to hide, conceal”), from root *(s)keu- “to cover, conceal” (see hide (n.1)). Hide and seek (by 1670s), children’s game, replaced earlier all hid (1580s).
“skin of a large animal,” Old English hyd “hide, skin,” from Proto-Germanic *hudiz (cf. Old Norse huð, Old Frisian hed, Middle Dutch huut, Dutch huid, Old High German hut, German Haut “skin”), related to Old English verb hydan “to hide,” the common notion being of “covering.”
All of this is from PIE root *(s)keu- “to cover, conceal” (cf. Sanskrit kostha “enclosing wall,” skunati “covers;” Armenian ciw “roof;” Latin cutis “skin,” scutum “shield,” ob-scurus “dark;” Greek kytos “a hollow, vessel,” keutho “to cover, to hide,” skynia “eyebrows;” Russian kishka “gut,” literally “sheath;” Lithuanian kiautas “husk,” kutis “stall;” Old Norse sky “cloud;” Old English sceo “cloud;” Middle High German hode “scrotum;” Old High German scura, German Scheuer “barn;” Welsh cuddio “to hide”).
The alliterative pairing of hide and hair (often negative, hide nor hair) was in Middle English (early 15c.), but earlier and more common was hide ne hewe, literally “skin and complexion (‘hue’)” (c.1200).
“measure of land” (obsolete), Old English hid “hide of land,” earlier higid, from hiw- “family” (cf. hiwan “household,” hiwo “a husband, master of a household”), from Proto-Germanic *hiwido-, from PIE *keiwo- (cf. Latin civis “citizen”), from root *kei- “to lie; bed, couch; beloved, dear” (see cemetery, and cf. city).
The notion was of “amount of land needed to feed one free family and dependents,” usually 100 or 120 acres, but the amount could be as little as 60, depending on the quality of the land. Often also defined as “as much land as could be tilled by one plow in a year.” Translated in Latin as familia.
In addition to the idioms beginning with hide
- hide and seek
- hide nor hair, neither
- hide one’s face
- hide one’s head in the sand
- hide one’s light under a bushel
- hide out
- cover one’s ass (hide)
- tan one’s hide