Definition of hat in English:

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Pronunciation: /hat/


1A shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform.
Example sentences
  • We walk away from the smattering of polo insiders wearing baseball caps and woolly hats, watching a practice game.
  • Turn out your cupboard for old straw sunhats, berets, baseball caps and felt hats.
  • There were felt hats and straw hats, decorated with feathers and flowers, ribbon and lace.
1.1Used to refer to a particular role or occupation of someone who has more than one: wearing her scientific hat, she is director of a pharmacology research group
More example sentences
  • Life can be busy with many different roles and hats to put on and take off again.
  • Wearing all her various hats and wearing them well, Paula certainly fits the Burton bill.
  • A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats. The Toastmaster is the host of the day and conducts the meeting (with the exception of the business portion).



be all hat and no cattle

US informal Tend to talk boastfully without acting on one’s words.
Example sentences
  • They're all hat and no cattle, a long run for a short slide.
  • And when you run ads saying you are going to take care of Social Security, my friend, that's all hat and no cattle.
  • It's all hat and no cattle, all buckle and no belt; or, as a noted English playwright once put it, ‘It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’

hat in hand

Used to indicate an attitude of humility: standing on the stoop of his ex-wife’s house, hat in hand
More example sentences
  • The big three went hat in hand to Congress to stay afloat at least through March.
  • He has an approach that sounds like humble farmer with hat in hand.
  • We didn't go hat in hand, we were asked to take it.

keep something under one's hat

Keep something a secret.
Example sentences
  • Churchill replied: ‘I'll tell you a secret, but keep it under your hat.’
  • They've certainly kept this change under their hat.
  • I know how to keep my politics under my hat for a dinner party.

pass the hat

Collect contributions of money from a number of people for a specific purpose.
Example sentences
  • After each performance, they pass the hat, collect what they can, and move on to the next village.
  • Of course, he left his unsuspecting assistant to pass the hat, and of course the money filled it to the brim.
  • We'll also be passing the hat for additional donations, so drink up and loosen your purse strings.

pick something out of a hat

Select something, especially the winner of a contest, at random.
Example sentences
  • If two or more people suggested the chosen name, the winner will be picked out of a hat.
  • Two lucky volunteers' names were picked out of a hat to fill the two places allocated to some charities for a trip to London.
  • An inside source told me that candidates’ seating positions were chosen by picking numbers out of a hat.

take one's hat off to (or hats off to)

Used to state one’s admiration for (someone who has done something praiseworthy): I take my hat off to anyone who makes it work hats off to emergency services for prompt work in the wake of the storms
More example sentences
  • I take my hat off to all the people who do the job for an entire season.
  • ‘I take my hat off to all the participants,’ he said.
  • I took my hat off to him for trying something like that.

talk through one's hat

see talk.

throw one's hat in (or into) the ring

Express willingness to take up a challenge, especially to enter a political race.
Example sentences
  • Never being one to turn down a new challenge, Larry threw his hat into the ring as a candidate for the position, and he was hired for the job.
  • Last year he surprised many by throwing his hat in the ring to contest the chair against Queenan and came close to causing an upset.
  • It's not at all clear to me that he can push these other contenders from the field simply by throwing his hat into the ring.



Pronunciation: /ˈhatˌfo͝ol/
noun (plural hatfuls)
Example sentences
  • I know now that I don't have to take hatfuls of wickets to impress.
  • He was about nineteen feet tall and scored hatfuls of goals as a result, all of them headers.
  • To a large extent, Ireland were masters of their own downfall, making countless errors and conceding a hatful of penalties.


Pronunciation: /ˈhatləs/
Example sentences
  • The man came out of the darkness, impeccable as always in his well-styled coat - hatless this time, he noted, in spite of the wind.
  • Until the 1950s, many women would go hatless in their own quartier, something they would not do if they were to go beyond its informal limits.
  • It was very hot in the Brazilian sun on a hatless balding head.


[in combination]: a white-hatted cowboy
More example sentences
  • Oh, this fills my head with such wonderful images of respectable, gloved, hatted ladies exchanging filthy pictures over supper.
  • She smiled, thinking of the hard hatted woman who must have written it there.
  • Such sea changes in men's attire invariably occur with a nod or a frown from a head of state, whether hatted or not.


Old English hætt, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse hǫttr 'hood', also to hood1.

Words that rhyme with hat

at, bat, brat, cat, chat, cravat, drat, expat, fat, flat, frat, gat, gnat, hereat, high-hat, howzat, lat, mat, matt, matte, Montserrat, Nat, outsat, pat, pit-a-pat, plait, plat, prat, Rabat, rat, rat-tat, Sadat, sat, scat, Sebat, shabbat, shat, skat, slat, spat, splat, sprat, stat, Surat, tat, that, thereat, tit-for-tat, vat, whereat

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hat

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