Definitions for hairballˈhɛərˌbɔl
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a ball of hair in the stomach of a cat or other animal as a result of the animal's licking its coat.
Category: Veterinary Science
Origin of hairball:
hairball, hair ball, trichobezoar(noun)
a compact mass of hair that forms in the alimentary canal (especially in the stomach of animals as a result of licking fur)
A small wad of fur or mass of hair formed in the digestive system of a cat or other animal, from hair ingested while grooming.
A messy, tangled, intractable, stay-away-from-it issue.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
1. [Fidonet] A large batch of messages that a store-and-forward network is failing to forward when it should. Often used in the phrase “Fido coughed up a hairball today”, meaning that the stuck messages have just come unstuck, producing a flood of mail where there had previously been drought. 2. An unmanageably huge mass of source code. “JWZ thought the Mozilla effort bogged down because the code was a huge hairball.” 3. Any large amount of garbage coming out suddenly. “Sendmail is coughing up a hairball, so expect some slowness accessing the Internet.”