of or relating to polite or fashionable society.

Origin of top-hat

First recorded in 1890–95; adj. use of top hat

top hat


a tall, cylindrical hat with a stiff brim usually slightly curved on the sides, worn by men especially on formal occasions.Compare beaver1(def 4), opera hat, silk hat.

Origin of top hat

First recorded in 1800–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for top-hat


Examples from the Web for top-hat

Historical Examples of top-hat

  • It was a top-hat of some strange, hard material brightly glazed.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • What I want to know is whether it's a top-hat affair or not?

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

  • A youth so knocked off his top-hat that he recovered it with difficulty.

  • A lean old man with kid gloves and a top-hat entered the shop.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • He was too careful of his dignity, too certain of his top-hat.

    The Second Fiddle

    Phyllis Bottome

British Dictionary definitions for top-hat

top hat


a man's hat with a tall cylindrical crown and narrow brim, often made of silk, now worn for some formal occasionsAlso called: high hat
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 top-hat

also tophat, 1875, from top (n.1) + hat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper