—n. 1. a shaped covering for the head, usually with a crown and brim, esp. for wear outdoors.
2. Rom. Cath. Ch. a. the distinctive head covering of a cardinal.
b. the office or dignity of a cardinal. Cf. red hat. 3. hat in hand, humbly; respectfully: He approached the boss, hat in hand. 4. pass the hat, to ask for contributions of money, as for charity; take up a collection: The lodge members passed the hat to send underprivileged children to summer camp. 5. take off one's hat to, to express high regard for; praise: We took off our hats to their courage and daring. 6. talk through one's hat, to speak without knowing the facts; make unsupported or incorrect statements: He is talking through his hat when he says he'll make the team. 7. throw or toss one's hat in or into the ring, to become a participant in a contest, esp. to declare one's candidacy for political office: His friends are urging him to throw his hat in the ring. 8. under one's hat, confidential; private; secret: I'll tell you the real story, but keep it under your hat. 9. wear two or several hats, to function in more than one capacity; fill two or more positions: He wears two hats, serving as the company's comptroller as well as its chief executive officer.