noun, plural tril·bies. Chiefly British.

a hat of soft felt with an indented crown.

Origin of trilby

1895–1900; short for Trilby hat, after the hat worn by a character in an illustration for the novel Trilby (1894) by George du Maurier
Also called trilby hat. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trilby

Historical Examples of trilby

  • Of course, she had read her Trilby, and other works dealing with the Latin Quarter.

  • She opened the door and there saw Alston Choate, his feet on the table, reading "Trilby."

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • The composition sometimes is spoken of as the "Trilby" impromptu.

    The Pianolist

    Gustav Kobb

  • Trilby and Old Barney were the two who stuck (p. 334) to the alley longest.

  • They sat up and rubbed their eyes, while Chief and Trilby barked their welcome.

British Dictionary definitions for trilby


noun plural -bies

mainly British a man's soft felt hat with an indented crown
(plural) slang feet

Word Origin for trilby

C19: named after Trilby, the heroine of a dramatized novel (1893) of that title by George du Maurier
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 trilby

type of hat, 1897, from name of Trilby O'Ferrall, eponymous heroine of the novel by George du Maurier (1834-1896), published in 1894. In the stage version of the novel, the character wore this type of soft felt hat. In plural, also slang for "feet" (1895), in reference to the eroticism attached to the heroine's bare feet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper