from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A covering for the head, especially one with a shaped crown and brim.
  • noun A head covering of distinctive color and shape worn as a symbol of office.
  • noun The office symbolized by the wearing of such a head covering.
  • noun A role or office symbolized by or as if by the wearing of different hats.
  • transitive verb To supply or cover with a hat.
  • idiom (at the drop of a hat) At the slightest pretext or provocation.
  • idiom (hat in hand) In a humble manner; humbly.
  • idiom (take (one's) hat off to) To respect, admire, or congratulate.
  • idiom (talk through (one's) hat) To talk nonsense.
  • idiom (talk through (one's) hat) To bluff.
  • idiom (throw/toss) To enter a political race as a candidate for office.
  • idiom (under (one's) hat) As a secret or in confidence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A Middle English form of hot.
  • To provide with a hat: used chiefly in composition: as, straw-hatted girls.
  • To place a hat upon the head of.
  • To secure, as a seat, by placing one's hat upon it, as is done in the British House of Commons.
  • noun An obsolete form of hate.
  • noun See hot.
  • noun In botany, the pileus or cap of a mushroom.
  • noun A covering for the head; specifically, a head-dress worn in the open air, having a crown, sides, and a brim.
  • noun The layer of tan-bark spread over hides in a tan-pit.
  • noun In a smelting-furnace, a depressed place in the tunnel-head designed to detain gases.
  • noun In some soap-coppers and the like, a depressed chamber in the bottom, provided with a tap for drawing off the contents: designed to collect impurities that settle.
  • noun In heraldry, a representation of the red hat, having the tassels on each side arranged as described under cordon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Hot.
  • obsolete, obsolete sing. pres. of hote to be called. Cf.
  • noun A covering for the head; esp., one with a crown and brim, made of various materials, and worn by men or women for protecting the head from the sun or weather, or for ornament.
  • noun a block on which hats are formed or dressed.
  • noun [Colloq.] to take up a collection of voluntary contributions, which are often received in a hat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A covering for the head, often in the approximate form of a cone or a cylinder closed at its top end, and sometimes having a brim and other decoration.
  • noun figuratively A particular role or capacity that a person might fill.
  • noun figuratively Any receptacle from which numbers/names are pulled out in a lottery.
  • noun figuratively, by extension The lottery or draw itself.
  • noun video games A hat switch.
  • noun typography, nonstandard, rare = háček

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb put on or wear a hat
  • noun headdress that protects the head from bad weather; has shaped crown and usually a brim
  • noun an informal term for a person's role
  • verb furnish with a hat


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English hæt, hætt.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English hæt, hætt ("head-covering, hat"), from Proto-Germanic *hattuz (“hat”), from Proto-Indo-European *kadʰ- (“to guard, cover, care for, protect”). Cognate with North Frisian hat ("hat"), Danish hat ("hat"), Swedish hatt ("hat"), Icelandic hattur ("hat"), Latin cassis ("helmet"), Lithuanian kudas ("bird's crest or tuft"), Avestan  (xaoda, "hat"), Welsh caddu ("to provide for, ensure"). Compare also hood.


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  • And, if I say, The boy's hat is _on_ his head, you perceive that _on_ shows the relation between _hat_ and _head_.

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures Samuel Kirkham

  • One of the lower grade wears a very capacious shovel hat, projecting as much in front as behind, and looking very like a double-ended coal-heaver's _hat_.

    The Aldine, Vol. 5, No. 1., January, 1872 A Typographic Art Journal Various

  • (_Goes to table_ B.C. _and takes up_ GEORGE'S _cap in mistake for his hat and is moving towards double-doors when_ GEORGE, _noting this, picks up_ PIM'S _hat from_ L. _of stage where it has been left from previous_ ACT, _and crosses with it to_ PIM.)

    Mr. Pim Passes By 1919

  • We woiflif be, wetliouldbei hat who can (ell »hat i TIii« world's a large lilve, wlicre to labour we're come, fiul likebeeat enjoy nothing, eKeepthtgonr Hum.

    The Beauties of All Magazines Selected for ... 1152

  • I've been told the hat is my least objectionable quality.

    Sept 28 is "Ask a Stupid Question Day" Tyler 2009

  • I never had yet a piece of feather on a hat, and your hat is all feathers.

    Hungry Hearts 1920

  • When she clapped on what she called a hat, you wondered whether a heron hadn't built its nest on her head.

    A Woman Named Smith Marie Conway Oemler 1905

  • There was Mick, what he called his hat stuck on the back of his head, and what was left of his coat-tails flying in the air behind him, heading for the first stone wall, and, before you could say "knife," he was over it like a bird, across the road, over the wall the other side, with a "whoop-la" that you could have heard in the cathedral in Limerick.

    The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon 1892

  • This place on the back of your head, where there is a bump as big as a hickory nut, is what we call the hat rack bump, because you can hang your hat on it.

    Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy 1899 1878

  • With us, the removal of the hat is an expression of reverence for the place we enter, or rather of Him who is worshipped there.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871


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  • Poor old Jonathon bing

    Went out in his carriage to visit the King,

    But everyone pointed and said, 'Look at that!

    Jonathan Bing has forgotten his hat!'

    (He'd forgotten his hat!)

    -Beatrice Curtis Brown, 'Jonathon Bing'.

    December 5, 2008

  • Hot, in Old English terms.

    July 17, 2009

  • "hat" in Hungarian means: six

    August 1, 2012