hat in hand


: in an attitude of respectful humility
have to go hat in hand to apologize

Example Sentences

he was forced to apologize hat in hand for the offensive comment
Recent Examples on the Web What Toomey's amendment wants to do is make sure that our sick and dying veterans have the pleasure that our 9/11 first responders at Ground Zero had of having to come back to Washington, hat in hand, riddled with cancer, and march through the halls of The Hill begging for money every year. ABC News, 31 July 2022 They are surprised by a young man who appears on the left with hat in hand, extending a rose to the central girl. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, 18 Mar. 2021 Advertisement Even the simplest of requests required going hat in hand to Capitol Hill. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2023 But that was only a snapshot, and the agency only got it by going hat in hand to a private system. Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2022 So the Administration has gone hat in hand to OPEC and the Saudis and now Venezuela. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Nov. 2022 The past two weeks have seen a parade of journalists and E.A. luminaries coming forward, hat in hand, to apologize and reflect. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2022 More aspiring entrepreneurs come hat in hand as the competition returns. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hat in hand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hat in hand was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near hat in hand

Cite this Entry

“Hat in hand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hat%20in%20hand. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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