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.



Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
Question 1 of 10
What does “barren” mean?

Origin of hard hat

First recorded in 1925–30

Definition for hard hat (2 of 2)


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hard hat

  • He was a local construction worker, complete with hardhat, and he spoke with a heavy Spanish accent.

    The Boys on the Bus|Ben Crair|November 3, 2008|DAILY BEAST

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

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.