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top hat

a tall, cylindrical hat with a stiff brim usually slightly curved on the sides, worn by men especially on formal occasions.
Compare beaver1 (def 4), opera hat, silk hat.
Origin of top hat


[top-hat] /ˈtɒpˈhæt/
of or relating to polite or fashionable society.
1890-95; adj. use of top hat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for top hat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A "top hat" goes spinning out into the roadway, and a fan flies through the midst of the glare.

    Starlight Ranch Charles King
  • "Good morning, gentlemen," he said, with a flourish of his top hat.

    The Daffodil Mystery Edgar Wallace
  • Why would a carrier force be so top hat as not to come in and get us, I'd like to know?

    Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal Robert Sydney Bowen
  • The days are long gone by when he said he wanted a bicycle, a top hat, and a pipe.

    The Children Alice Meynell
  • His top hat was unmistakably French, with a flat rim, and his boots were of patent leather.

    In Friendship's Guise Wm. Murray Graydon
  • A lot of chaps and girls there was on the bank laughed at my shirt-sleeves and top hat.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • But if a gentleman puts on a top hat and a frock-coat, and then goes about on his hands and knees—well, he may attract attention.

    The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for top hat

top hat

a man's hat with a tall cylindrical crown and narrow brim, often made of silk, now worn for some formal occasions Also called high hat
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
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Word Origin and History for top hat



also tophat, 1875, from top (n.1) + hat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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