[ hat ]
See synonyms for hat on Thesaurus.com
  1. a shaped covering for the head, usually with a crown and brim, especially for wear outdoors.

  2. Roman Catholic Church.

    • the distinctive head covering of a cardinal.

    • the office or dignity of a cardinal.: Compare red hat.

verb (used with object),hat·ted, hat·ting.
  1. to provide with a hat; put a hat on.

Idioms about hat

  1. hat in hand, humbly; respectfully: He approached the boss, hat in hand.

  2. pass the hat, to ask for contributions of money, as for charity; take up a collection: The lodge members passed the hat to send underprivileged children to summer camp.

  1. take off one's hat to, to express high regard for; praise: We took off our hats to their courage and daring.

  2. talk through one's hat, to speak without knowing the facts; make unsupported or incorrect statements: He is talking through his hat when he says he'll make the team.

  3. throw / toss one's hat in the ring, to become a participant in a contest, especially to declare one's candidacy for political office: His friends are urging him to throw his hat in the ring.

  4. under one's hat, confidential; private; secret: I'll tell you the real story, but keep it under your hat.

  5. wear two / several hats, to function in more than one capacity; fill two or more positions: He wears two hats, serving as the company's comptroller as well as its chief executive officer.

Origin of hat

before 900; Middle English; Old English hætt; cognate with Old Norse hǫttr hood; akin to hood1

Other words from hat

  • hatless, adjective
  • hat·less·ness, noun
  • hatlike, adjective

Words Nearby hat

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hat


/ (hæt) /

    • any of various head coverings, esp one with a brim and a shaped crown

    • (in combination): hatrack

  1. informal a role or capacity

  1. at the drop of a hat without hesitation or delay

  2. I'll eat my hat informal I will be greatly surprised if (something that proves me wrong) happens: I'll eat my hat if this book comes out late

  3. hat in hand humbly or servilely

  4. keep something under one's hat to keep something secret

  5. my hat (interjection) British informal

    • my word! my goodness!

    • nonsense!

  6. old hat something stale or old-fashioned

  7. out of a hat

    • as if by magic

    • at random

  8. pass the hat round or send the hat round to collect money, as for a cause

  9. take off one's hat to to admire or congratulate

  10. talk through one's hat

    • to talk foolishly

    • to deceive or bluff

  11. throw one's hat at it Irish to give up all hope of getting or achieving something: you can throw your hat at it now

  12. throw one's hat in the ring or toss one's hat in the ring to announce one's intentions to be a candidate or contestant

verbhats, hatting or hatted
  1. (tr) to supply (a person, etc) with a hat or put a hat on (someone)

Origin of hat

Old English hætt; related to Old Norse höttr cap, Latin cassis helmet; see hood 1

Derived forms of hat

  • hatless, adjective
  • hatlike, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with hat


In addition to the idioms beginning with hat

  • hate someone's guts
  • hat in hand
  • hat in the ring
  • hats off to
  • hat trick

also see:

  • at the drop of a hat
  • brass hat
  • eat one's hat
  • hang on to your hat
  • hang up (one's hat)
  • hard hat
  • hats off to
  • keep under one's hat
  • knock into a cocked hat
  • pass the hat
  • pull out of a hat
  • take one's hat off to
  • talk through one's hat
  • throw one's hat in the ring
  • wear another hat

Also see undercap.

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