View synonyms for hard hat

hard hat



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


or hard·hat

[ hahrd-hat ]


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


  1. pertaining to or characteristic of hard-hats:

    enlisting hard-hat support for his policies.

hard hat


  1. a hat made of a hard material for protection, worn esp by construction workers, equestrians, etc
  2. informal.
    a construction worker


  1. informal.
    characteristic of the presumed conservative attitudes and prejudices typified by construction workers

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hard hat1

First recorded in 1925–30

Origin of hard hat2

First recorded in 1960–65

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Idioms and Phrases

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]

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Example Sentences

Suddenly, men and women who’d toiled in humid fields, pulling the suckers from tobacco—who’d grown up reading by the light of kerosene lamps – could trade in their tobacco pegs for hard hats.

From Time

The technicians on deck, clad in hard hats and clipped into harnesses, reeled the cable in.

At a site visit last month, as rockfall tumbled down into a ditch on the uphill side of the road, park officials wearing hard hats described their maintenance crews’ intense efforts to keep traffic moving before the closure.

Inside the school, about a dozen men in hard hats worked on the hallway and courtyard.

The system uses a GoPro camera mounted on top of a hard hat.

The hard hat was to protect him should the parents swoop low.

“Hard hat…heavy jacket…welding gloves…fish landing net…a sheet…a big Tupperware bin with a lid,” he says.

Buy a hard hat and brush up on your rules for workplace safety.

The difference is that everyone who wants to build in California has to follow the same rules and wear the hard hat.

If you don't believe me, walk by a construction site in Manhattan and ask the guy in the hard hat.

Of hair, indeed, Mr. Chifney could only boast a rim of carroty-gray stubble under the rim of the back of his hard hat.

As you value your comfort, dear reader, never purchase a hard hat.

He wore his city hard hat as if he wished by his headgear to distinguish himself from the herd of woodsmen whom he bossed.

And the little bow-legged one, with the hard hat two sizes too big, was Hen Tomlins who always went shopping with his wife.

A short man entered; he had big shoulders and remarkable girth of chest, and he carried a black, hard hat in his hand.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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