or hard·hat

[ hahrd-hat ]
/ ˈhɑrdˌhæt /

noun Informal.

a construction worker, especially a member of a construction workers' union.
a working-class conservative.


pertaining to or characteristic of hard-hats: enlisting hard-hat support for his policies.

Origin of hard-hat

First recorded in 1960–65

Definition for hard-hat (2 of 2)

hard hat


a protective helmet of metal or plastic, especially as worn by construction or factory workers.
a uniformed soldier of a regular army, as opposed to a guerrilla.

Origin of hard hat

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hard-hat

hard hat


a hat made of a hard material for protection, worn esp by construction workers, equestrians, etc
informal, mainly US and Canadian a construction worker

adjective hard-hat

informal, mainly US characteristic of the presumed conservative attitudes and prejudices typified by construction workers
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

Word Origin and History for hard-hat

hard hat

also hardhat, hard-hat, late 14c., "helmet;" 1935, "derby hat;" meaning "safety helmet" is from 1953; used figuratively for "construction worker" from 1970.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hard-hat

hard hat

A working-class ultraconservative. For example, They were counting on a large number of votes from the hard hats. This term alludes to the rigid protective headgear worn by construction workers, who were noted for their conservatism during the tumultuous 1960s. [c. 1960]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.