- 1 a covering made to fit the head, often with a brim (= a flat edge that sticks out), and worn out of doors a straw/woolly, etc. hat to put on/take off a hat See related entries: Accessories
- 2(informal) a position or role, especially an official or professional role, when you have more than one such role I'm wearing two hats tonight—parent and teacher. I'm telling you this with my lawyer's hat on, you understand. see also old hat Word Origin Old English hætt, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse hǫttr
to ask somebody for something, especially money, in a very polite way that makes you seem less important (old-fashioned) used to express surprise (informal) used to say that you think something is very unlikely to happen If she's here on time, I'll eat my hat!
(informal) used to say that you admire somebody very much for something they have done related noun hat tip (informal) to keep something secret and not tell anyone else (old-fashioned, British English) to be very much better than somebody/something She knocks the rest of the cast into a cocked hat. if something such as a name is picked out of a/the hat, it is picked at random from a container into which all the names are put, so that each name has an equal chance of being picked, in a competition, etc. (informal) to collect money from a number of people, for example to buy a present for somebody (informal) to suddenly produce something as a solution to a problem (old-fashioned, informal) to say silly things while you are talking about a subject you do not understand to announce officially that you are going to compete in an election, a competition, etc.