before vowels chaet-, word-forming element meaning "hair," also, in scientific use, "spine, bristle," from Latinized form of Greek khaite "long, loose, flowing hair" (of persons, also of horses, lions), from an old PIE word for "hair, mane," source also of Avestan gaesa- "curly hair," gaesu- "'curly haired," Modern Persian ges "hair that hangs down, curls;" Middle Irish gaiset "bristly hair."

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