"coat, hair, or fur of a mammal," 1831, from French pelage "hair or wool of an animal" (16c.), from Old French pel "hair," from Latin pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Used in zoology as plumage is of birds. Middle English had pelure "fur, especially of a valuable kind," c. 1300, from Old French.
updated on April 22, 2020