Unique Words That Begin With the Letter H

, Staff Writer
Updated May 27, 2021
alphabet letter h
    holding an alphabet letter h
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The letter “h” isn’t all that uncommon, but it’s the first letter of quite a few really interesting words. Build your vocabulary by exploring a selection of unique words that start with “h”.

Interesting H Words To Describe Someone

There are many ways to describe people. One of these “h” words might provide you with a new way to do just that.

  • habitue - a person who frequently visits an establishment; a regular customer
  • hale - a person who is in better condition that one might expect, such as someone who is recovering quickly from a medical procedure
  • harpy - women who behaves in a shrewish manner
  • harried - stressed and rushed trying to get everything done
  • hawkish - wanting to act quickly in a militant or warlike manner
  • hellion - a mischievous troublemaker; often used to refer to children who misbehave
  • hireling - an individual employed to do menial tasks; a laborer
  • hoyden - a female who is loud and boisterous
  • harridan - an older woman who is bossy or difficult to deal with
  • hubris - extreme arrogance; a feeling that one is above consequences
  • humanitarian - a person who seeks to promote the common good or welfare of others
  • humgruffin - a person who is repulsive
  • hypercritical - an individual who is overly judgmental of others

Literary Terms That Start With H

A number of literary terms, including words for language usage and types of literature begin with the letter “h.”

  • hagiology - area of literature focused on writings about the saints
  • haiku - Japanese poetry form with 17 syllables organized a specific way
  • hamartia - a flaw or characteristic that leads to a protagonist’s demise
  • handlist - a list of items included in a collection, with a brief description of each
  • Homerology - the study of the life and works of the poet Homer
  • homonym - a word that has multiple meanings with no change in spelling or pronunciation
  • homophones - words that sound alike but are spelled differently and don’t mean the same thing
  • hyperbaton - writing in which words are arranged in an unusual order (such as saying “tired he was” instead of “he was tired)
  • hyperbole - exaggerated assertions not intended for literal interpretation

Phobias That Start With H

There are many types of phobias, several of which have unusual sounding names that start with “h.”

  • hamartophobia - the fear of committing a sin
  • harpaxophobia - fear of getting robbed
  • hedonophobia - fear of experiencing pleasure
  • hellenologophobia - fear of Greek or Latin words, including scientific terminology
  • hierophobia - fear of religious or sacred objects
  • hodophobia - fear of traveling
  • homilophobia - fear of sermons (being preached to)
  • hyelophobia - fear of glass
  • hypegiaphobia - fear of responsibility

Quite a few fields of scientific study start with “h.”

  • helcology - study of ulcers
  • heliology - study of the sun
  • helioseismology - study of the interior of the sun
  • helminthology - study of helminths, which are parasitic worms
  • hematology - study of blood
  • hepatology - study of the liver
  • herbology - study of using plants for medicinal purposes
  • herpetology - study of reptiles and amphibians
  • hippology - study of horses
  • histology - study of the microscopic structure of animal or plant tissue
  • histophysiology - the study of the physiology of animal or plant tissue
  • hypnology - the study of sleep
  • hypsography - mapping the Earth’s topography; a specialized branch of geography

Medical Terms That Start With H

A number of medical terms begin with the letter “h.”

  • haemal - relating to blood
  • hemianopsia - being blind in one eye
  • hemiplegic - being paralyzed on one side of the body
  • hemochromatosis - medical condition in which too much iron builds up in the body
  • hemoglobin - protein in blood that transports oxygen from the lungs and returns carbon dioxide to them
  • hemophilia - condition in which a person’s blood doesn’t clot properly
  • hemorrhagic - accompanied by bleeding (for example, a hemorrhagic stroke is a stroke that involves a bleed)
  • hypochondria - constant fear of having serious medical problems; extreme anxiety about one’s health

More Unique H Words

Not every unique “h” word fits neatly into the categories above.

  • hackneyed - overused; repeated so much as to become stale
  • hagridden - troubled by anxiety or frightening nightmares
  • halcyon - peaceful, tranquil, without drama
  • haphazard - lacking organization or planning
  • harangue - aggressive criticism that goes on and on
  • hegemony - circumstances in which a dominant group exerts control over others
  • hieroglyphic - picture-based system of writing
  • hinterland - a remote area that is undeveloped
  • hirsute - covered with hair
  • horrisonant - having a dreadful sound
  • humicubation - lying prone on the ground
  • hypocorism - an affectionate nickname or pet name
  • hyrax - a small mammal also referred to as a rock rabbit

Examples of Unusual H Words in Sentences

While most of these words aren’t ones that often come up in everyday conversations, they definitely have their place in writing and speaking.

  • Grandma is looking hale and hearty, so her recovery from hip replacement surgery must be going very well.
  • Since the planning was so last-minute and haphazard, I’m not surprised that the fundraiser didn’t raise any money.
  • I am really tired of having family members harangue me about when I plan to have a child.
  • One of my best friends was diagnosed with hemochromatosis a few years ago.
  • I am very interested in natural remedies, so I planted an herb garden and signed up to take an herbology class.
  • My sister, who is studying to be a nurse, told me that histology is a fascinating subject.
  • Because Uncle Bob has hodophobia, we’re going to have to go visit him at his house if we want to see him in person.
  • My cousin is such a hoyden that it causes me stress to spend time with her.
  • I don’t like to listen to campaign speeches because they are so full of hyperbole.
  • I have been having so much trouble sleeping that I may volunteer to be a subject in a hypnology research project.

Explore Even More of the Many H Words

There are many, many more cool words that begin with the letter “h.” These are some of the more unique terms that start with this letter, but there are plenty more for you to explore. For even more unusual “h” words, check out some terms that begin with “hu.” Afterward, review this list of positive words that start with “h” to further boost your vocabulary.