[ kel-ee ]
/ ˈkɛl i /

noun, plural kel·lies, kel·lys. Slang.

a man's stiff hat, as a derby or straw skimmer.

Nearby words

  1. kellogg,
  2. kellogg, frank billings,
  3. kellogg-briand pact,
  4. kells,
  5. kells, book of,
  6. kelly green,
  7. kelly's operation,
  8. kelly, ellsworth,
  9. kelly, gene,
  10. kelly, george

Origin of kelly

First recorded in 1910–15; generic use of surname Kelly, taken as representative of a stage Irishman wearing such a derby


[ kel-ee ]
/ ˈkɛl i /

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

Examples from the Web for kelly

British Dictionary definitions for kelly


/ (ˈkɛlɪ) /


Gene, full name Eugene Curran Kelly. 1912–96, US dancer, choreographer, film actor, and director. His many films include An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Grace. 1929–82, US film actress. Her films included High Noon (1952) and High Society (1956). She married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 and died following a car crash
Ned. 1855–80, Australian horse and cattle thief and bushranger, active in Victoria: captured by the police and hanged
game as Ned Kelly or as game as Ned Kelly See game 1 (def. 25)
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 kelly


common Irish surname, from Old Irish ceallach "war." As a type of pool played with 15 balls, it is attested from 1898. Kelly green first recorded 1917.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper