Definition of hillbilly in US English:

hillbilly

nounPlural hillbillies

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

    • ‘In fact, hillbillies themselves were the first to capitalize commercially on the hillbilly mystique.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How about some hillbillies, dirty tricks, cavemen and monsters to jazz up the petrol-soaked smogfest?’
    • ‘We're hillbillies, and the rest of the world sees us that way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Through it all, the culture-savvy walk around in a daze, slackjawed and awkward like hillbillies at a vernissage.’
    • ‘These are quality people, not hillbillies to any extent, but St. Louis is a city built for isolation.’
    • ‘It's inspired by old blues, Nashville psycho hillbillies and hazy memories.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    • ‘Here's what the hillbilly rocker had to say about his little monster.’
    • ‘At times that means straighter pop tinted by shades of folk, country and indie rock and at other times, screaming hillbilly thrash.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Featuring the talents of Cynthia Frazzini and Craig Aspen, The Believers' sound blends Americana rock with folk-country and a hillbilly twang.’
    • ‘In the winter of 1940, a twenty-seven-year-old hillbilly singer named Woody Guthrie headed east to New York City.’
    • ‘Now and again, his voice lifts like a hillbilly choir or a candlelit revival presided over by David Crosby.’
    • ‘As they arrived in Latham, the familiar, edgy electronic Seinfeld music was momentarily replaced by a hillbilly twang.’
    • ‘The instruments of a hillbilly jamboree are pots, jugs, and any other basic items.’
    • ‘‘I'm a hillbilly singer with delusions of grandeur,’ Earle says, with a guffaw.’
    • ‘‘I want to go back to when things were so simple’ sings Weiss in a high-pitched hillbilly squeal on ‘Piggly Wiggly’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This time around, the focus is on gospel-based material rather than bluegrass and hillbilly music.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

hillbilly

/ˈhilˌbilē//ˈhɪlˌbɪli/