a box, usually shallow and often round, for holding pills.
a small, low structure of reinforced concrete, enclosing machine guns, and employed as a minor fortress in warfare.
a small, round, brimless hat with straight sides and a flat top, worn especially by women.

Origin of pillbox

First recorded in 1720–30; pill1 + box1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pillbox

beret, bonnet, beanie, skullcap, DINK, tam, fez

Examples from the Web for pillbox

Contemporary Examples of pillbox

  • The policeman, now yelling and shaking his fist, started to exit his pillbox and walk toward me.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Search for the Taliban Five

    Josh Rogin

    June 15, 2014

  • Life magazine ran a photo of Lamarr with a swarm of reporters, looking beleaguered and delicate in white gloves and a pillbox hat.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Great Weekend Reads

    The Daily Beast

    July 3, 2011

  • Princess Eugenie's sculptural piece by Philip Treacy, Victoria Beckham's pillbox, and more over-the-top headgear from the wedding!

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hats Off, Will & Kate!

    The Daily Beast

    April 29, 2011

  • While wearing one of her own dresses, Victoria Beckham wore a pillbox Philip Treacy hat.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hats Off: The Major Fashion Accessory

    Caroline Linton

    April 29, 2011

  • Terry is still haunted by the memory of flushing out a German pillbox.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Father, The Inglourious Basterd

    Kim Masters

    August 9, 2009

Historical Examples of pillbox

  • At this interesting crisis Dr. Pillbox (evidently a most attentive practitioner) arrived to pay a second visit.

    Loyal to the School

    Angela Brazil

  • Satisfied that no pillbox stood behind any of them, he pulled open the two drawers and tumbled their contents about.

    The Red Seal

    Natalie Sumner Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for pillbox



a box for pills
a small enclosed fortified emplacement, usually made of reinforced concrete
a small round hat, now worn esp by women
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 pillbox

also pill-box, "box for holding pills," 1730, from pill (n.) + box (n.). As a small round concrete machine gun nest, it came into use in World War I. As a type of hat, attested from 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper