Definition of hillbilly in English:



North American
  • 1informal, derogatory An unsophisticated country person, as associated originally with the remote regions of the Appalachians.

    • ‘These are quality people, not hillbillies to any extent, but St. Louis is a city built for isolation.’
    • ‘We're hillbillies, and the rest of the world sees us that way.’
    • ‘In fact, hillbillies themselves were the first to capitalize commercially on the hillbilly mystique.’
    • ‘Through it all, the culture-savvy walk around in a daze, slackjawed and awkward like hillbillies at a vernissage.’
    • ‘It's inspired by old blues, Nashville psycho hillbillies and hazy memories.’
    • ‘If it's not civil servants swarming to the west or hillbillies fleeing to the city, then it's hill walkers trampling on private property.’
    • ‘Maybe it's just me, but I don't like watching shows with pregnant hillbillies in them.’
    • ‘It sounded like it was recorded by a bunch of hillbillies in a shack.’
    • ‘When we want to go to Appalachia and take photos of the hillbillies, we don't hire Hollywood actors, because that just wouldn't cut it.’
    • ‘How about some hillbillies, dirty tricks, cavemen and monsters to jazz up the petrol-soaked smogfest?’
    bumpkin, country bumpkin, country cousin, rustic, countryman, countrywoman, country dweller, daughter of the soil, son of the soil, peasant, provincial, oaf, lout, boor, barbarian
    View synonyms
  • 2

    [as modifier] ‘he played sweet hillbilly guitar’
    old-fashioned term for country music
    • ‘Fuller is a stout purist when it comes to his hillbilly music, and has some serious rules before you can climb up on his stage.’
    • ‘Now and again, his voice lifts like a hillbilly choir or a candlelit revival presided over by David Crosby.’
    • ‘This time around, the focus is on gospel-based material rather than bluegrass and hillbilly music.’
    • ‘The instruments of a hillbilly jamboree are pots, jugs, and any other basic items.’
    • ‘‘I want to go back to when things were so simple’ sings Weiss in a high-pitched hillbilly squeal on ‘Piggly Wiggly’.’
    • ‘As they arrived in Latham, the familiar, edgy electronic Seinfeld music was momentarily replaced by a hillbilly twang.’
    • ‘At times that means straighter pop tinted by shades of folk, country and indie rock and at other times, screaming hillbilly thrash.’
    • ‘In the winter of 1940, a twenty-seven-year-old hillbilly singer named Woody Guthrie headed east to New York City.’
    • ‘Featuring the talents of Cynthia Frazzini and Craig Aspen, The Believers' sound blends Americana rock with folk-country and a hillbilly twang.’
    • ‘‘I'm a hillbilly singer with delusions of grandeur,’ Earle says, with a guffaw.’
    • ‘Even in high school, in that variety show, I went out and did a hillbilly rendition of a song, in addition to that rockabilly band I had.’
    • ‘Here's what the hillbilly rocker had to say about his little monster.’


Early 20th century: from hill + Billy (pet form of the given name William).