Definition of trilby in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtrilbē/

noun (plural trilbies)

chiefly British
A soft felt hat with a narrow brim and indented crown.
Example sentences
  • He then set up the flip chart in the corner of the room, and took a tweed trilby from the hat stand and arranged it jauntily on his head.
  • Very few of them, no matter how poor, are bareheaded: the men wear flat caps, bowlers, straw boaters, trilbies, toppers, the women shawls or floral hats.
  • The man on the doorstep had a camera dangling round his neck and was wearing a soft trilby hat - the kind that George Raft used to wear.



Example sentences
  • Barry McGovern and Garrett Keogh as the trilbied chorus are suitably grave observers finally concluding that ‘wise conduct is the key to happiness’.
  • I pointed out a cluster of trilbied men in greatcoats lurking by the salad shelves.
  • So, just having got some cash from a high-street sidewalk hole-in-the-wall, I accosted the next customer, a man of about 40, trilbied and rain-coated.


Late 19th century: from the name of the heroine in G. du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), in the stage version of which such a hat was worn.

  • Trilby was the heroine of George du Maurier's novel Trilby, published in 1894. In the stage version the Trilby character wore a soft felt hat with a narrow brim and indented crown, which was immediately dubbed a trilby. Trilby falls under the influence of a musician called Svengali, who trains her voice by hypnotizing her and makes her into a famous singer, although she had been tone-deaf before meeting him. A person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another is consequently sometimes called a Svengali.

Words that rhyme with trilby

astilbe, Philby

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tril·by

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