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[top-hat] /ˈtɒpˈhæt/
of or relating to polite or fashionable society.
Origin of top-hat
First recorded in 1890-95; adj. use of top hat

top hat

a tall, cylindrical hat with a stiff brim usually slightly curved on the sides, worn by men especially on formal occasions.
Compare beaver1 (def 4), opera hat, silk hat.
First recorded in 1800-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for top-hat
Historical Examples
  • It was a top-hat of some strange, hard material brightly glazed.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • What I want to know is whether it's a top-hat affair or not?

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • A youth so knocked off his top-hat that he recovered it with difficulty.

    The Forsyte Saga, Complete John Galsworthy
  • A lean old man with kid gloves and a top-hat entered the shop.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • He was too careful of his dignity, too certain of his top-hat.

    The Second Fiddle Phyllis Bottome
  • He ran all over the country with a top-hat and an umbrella, copying inscriptions.

    Alone Norman Douglas
  • He steps into the brougham and puts on—a top-hat, a shiny black "plug."

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • There was to be noticed in this band of rescuers a young man in evening clothes and top-hat.

    Last Words Stephen Crane
  • Do you think father would mind if we gave his top-hat to the porter?

    The Garden Party Katherine Mansfield
  • She recognized him at once by his top-hat and his evening clothes.

    The Apartment Next Door William Andrew Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for top-hat

top hat

a man's hat with a tall cylindrical crown and narrow brim, often made of silk, now worn for some formal occasions Also called high hat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for top-hat

also tophat, 1875, from top (n.1) + hat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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