(of a person or voice) sounding rough and unpleasant, especially because of a sore throat He shouted himself hoarse. a hoarse cough/cry/scream His voice was hoarse with exhaustion. Word Origin Old English hās, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hees. The spelling with r was influenced in Middle English by an Old Norse cognate.Extra examples Excitement made her voice hoarse. He shouted himself hoarse, but still no one came. Her voice was hoarse from shouting. His voice was hoarse with anxiety. Her voice came out as a hoarse whisper.