at the drop of a hat


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Related to at the drop of a hat: back to the drawing board, beat around the bush

at the drop of a hat

1. With little provocation. Don't let my mother watch any of those sappy movies—she cries at the drop of a hat.
2. Freely; immediately. I don't have any vacation time yet at my new job, so I can't just travel at the drop of a hat. I can always depend on my dad. Any time I need help, he's there at the drop of a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

Fig. immediately; instantly; on the slightest signal or urging. (Alludes to the dropping of a hat as a signal.) John was always ready to go fishing at the drop of a hat. If you need help, just call on me. I can come at the drop of a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

Immediately, without delay, as in We were ready to pack our bags and go on vacation at the drop of a hat. This phrase probably alludes to signaling the start of a race or other contest by dropping a hat. [Late 1800s]
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

COMMON If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it willingly and without hesitation. More people should sort out their own minor problems and stop calling the police at the drop of a hat. There is a myth that we are an uncaring generation, shoving our old folk into institutions at the drop of a hat. Note: This expression is often used to suggest that someone does not think carefully enough about their actions. Note: In the early 19th century, boxing matches were often started by someone dropping a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

without delay or good reason. informal
1991 Independent These days Soviet visas are issued at the drop of a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the ˌdrop of a ˈhat

(informal) immediately and without hesitating: He’s the sort of person who can sing any song at all at the drop of a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

1. Immediately; without delay: would sign the contract at the drop of a hat.
2. With only the slightest provocation: ready to argue at the drop of a hat.
See also: drop, hat, of

at the drop of a hat

At the slightest pretext or provocation.
See also: drop, hat, of