[ hil-bil-ee ]
/ ˈhɪlˌbɪl i /
Often Disparaging and Offensive.

noun, plural hill·bil·lies.

a term used to refer to a person from a backwoods or other remote area, especially from the mountains of the southern U.S. (sometimes used facetiously).


of, like, or relating to hillbillies: hillbilly humor.

Nearby words

  1. hill, ambrose powell,
  2. hill, james jerome,
  3. hill, joe,
  4. hilla,
  5. hillary,
  6. hillbilly music,
  7. hillcrest heights,
  8. hillel,
  9. hillel foundation,
  10. hiller

Origin of hillbilly

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; hill + Billy

Usage note

Hillbilly is often used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting, implying that a person who lives far away from a town or city lacks culture or education. However, this term is also used in a humorous way without intent to offend, and it is sometimes a positive term of self-reference.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hillbilly


/ (ˈhɪlˌbɪlɪ) /

noun plural -lies

usually derogatory an unsophisticated person, esp from the mountainous areas in the southeastern US
another name for country and western

Word Origin for hillbilly

C20: from hill + Billy (the nickname)

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 hillbilly


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper