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90s Slang You Should Know


[tril-bee] /ˈtrɪl bi/
noun, plural trilbies. Chiefly British.
a hat of soft felt with an indented crown.
Also called trilby hat.
Origin of trilby
1895-1900; short for Trilby hat, after the hat worn by a character in an illustration for the novel Trilby (1894) by George du Maurier Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trilby
Historical Examples
  • Poor trilby was hardly strong enough to walk back to the carriage; and this was her last outing.

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • The composition sometimes is spoken of as the "trilby" impromptu.

    The Pianolist Gustav Kobb
  • Well—but how do you repent, trilby, if you do not humble yourself, and pray for forgiveness on your knees?

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • She opened the door and there saw Alston Choate, his feet on the table, reading "trilby."

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • When Svengali gazed into trilby's mouth and exclaimed, "Himmel, what a roof!"

    The Voice Frank E. Miller
  • They sat up and rubbed their eyes, while Chief and trilby barked their welcome.

  • Dear Hendrick,—So it was you that sent me trilby—the magical thing!

  • He is one of England's greatest actors and the son of the man who wrote "trilby."

    My Wonderful Visit Charlie Chaplin
  • The hypnotism in 'trilby' was perhaps a journalist's idea, that subject being much talked of at the time the book was written.

  • Michel, with absent eyes, gazed at all this, as trilby rapidly trotted on.

    Prince Zilah, Complete Jules Claretie
British Dictionary definitions for trilby


noun (pl) -bies
(mainly Brit) a man's soft felt hat with an indented crown
(pl) (slang) feet
Word Origin
C19: named after Trilby, the heroine of a dramatized novel (1893) of that title by George du Maurier
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 trilby

type of hat, 1897, from name of Trilby O'Ferrall, eponymous heroine of the novel by George du Maurier (1834-1896), published in 1894. In the stage version of the novel, the character wore this type of soft felt hat. In plural, also slang for "feet" (1895), in reference to the eroticism attached to the heroine's bare feet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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