hook

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English hoke, from Old English hōc, from Proto-Germanic *hōkaz (compare West Frisian/Dutch hoek 'hook, angle, corner', Low German Hook, Huuk 'id.'), variant of *hakô (hook) (compare Dutch Low Saxon hoake (hook)). Probably ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kog-, *keg-, *keng- (peg, hook, claw). More at hake.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

A hook on a construction crane.
A right hook (boxing).
A hook shot in basketball.

hook (plural hooks)

  1. A rod bent into a curved shape, typically with one end free and the other end secured to a rope or other attachment.
  2. A fishhook, a barbed metal hook used for fishing.
  3. Any of various hook-shaped agricultural implements such as a billhook
    • Alexander Pope
      like slashing Bentley with his desperate hook
    • 1819, Keats, To Autumn
      Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
      Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
  4. That part of a hinge which is fixed to a post, and on which a door or gate hangs and turns.
  5. A loop shaped like a hook under certain written letters, e.g. g and j.
  6. A catchy musical phrase which forms the basis of a popular song.
    The song's hook snared me.
  7. A brief, punchy opening statement intended to get attention from an audience, reader, or viewer, and make them want to continue to listen to a speech, read a book, or watch a play.
  8. A tie-in to a current event or trend that makes a news story or editorial relevant and timely.
  9. (informal) Removal or expulsion from a group or activity.
    He is not handling this job, so we're giving him the hook.
  10. (cricket) A type of shot played by swinging the bat in a horizontal arc, hitting the ball high in the air to the leg side, often played to balls which bounce around head height.
  11. (baseball) A curveball.
    He threw a hook in the dirt.
  12. (software) A feature, definition, or coding that enables future enhancements to happen compatibly or more easily.
    We've added "user-defined" codepoints in several places and careful definitions of what to do with unknown message types as hooks in the standard to enable implementations to be both backward and forward compatible to future versions of the standard.
  13. (golf) A golf shot that (for the right-handed player) curves unintentionally to the left. See draw, slice, fade
  14. (basketball) A basketball shot in which the offensive player, usually turned perpendicular to the basket, gently throws the ball with a sweeping motion of his arm in an upward arc with a follow-through which ends over his head. Also called hook shot.
  15. (boxing) A type of punch delivered with the arm rigid and partially bent and the fist travelling nearly horizontally mesially along an arc.
    The heavyweight delivered a few powerful hooks that staggered his opponent.
    • 2011 December 18, Ben Dirs, “Carl Froch outclassed by dazzling Andre Ward”, BBC Sport:
      American Ward was too quick and too slick for his British rival, landing at will with razor sharp jabs and hooks and even bullying Froch at times.
  16. (slang) A jack (the playing card)
  17. (typography, rare) A háček.
    • 2003, Language Issues XV–XVIII, page 36
      Common diacritics in Slavonic language are the hook ˇ (as in haček – Czech for ‘hook’) and the stroke ´ (robić – Polish for ‘do/make’).
    • 2003, David Adams, The Song and Duet Texts of Antonín Dvořák, page 168
      In Czech, palatalization is normally indicated by the symbol ˇ, called haček or “hook.”
    • 2004, Keesing’s Record of World Events L:i–xii, page unknown
      In detailing the proposed shortening of the Czech Republic to Česko…the hook (hacek) erroneously appeared over the letter “e” instead of the “C”.
  18. (Scrabble) An instance of playing a word perpendicular to a word already on the board, adding a letter to the start or the end of the word to form a new word.
    • 2003, Andrew Fisher, David Webb, The Art of Scrabble[1], ISBN 0713488204, page 58:
      Setup plays can also be made when you do not have the needed letter but believe your opponent doesn't know the hook owing to its obscurity.
  19. (bowling) A ball that is rolled in a curved line.
    • 1969, Harold Keith, Sports and Games[2], page 102:
      However, for pins on the bowler's right, such as the 3, 6, 9, or 10, move more toward the center of the foul line if you bowl a straight ball or slightly to the left of the center of the foul line if you bowl a hook.
  20. (bridge, slang) A finesse.
  21. A snare; a trap.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  22. A field sown two years in succession.
  23. (in the plural) The projecting points of the thighbones of cattle; called also hook bones.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]

Verb[edit]

hook (third-person singular simple present hooks, present participle hooking, simple past and past participle hooked)

  1. (transitive) To attach a hook to.
    Hook the bag here, and the conveyor will carry it away.
  2. (transitive) To catch with a hook (hook a fish).
    He hooked a snake accidentally, and was so scared he dropped his rod into the water.
  3. (transitive) To ensnare someone, as if with a hook.
    She's only here to try to hook a husband.
    A free trial is a good way to hook customers.
  4. (UK, US, slang, archaic) To steal.
  5. (transitive) To connect (hook into, hook together).
    If you hook your network cable into the jack, you'll be on the network.
  6. (Usually in passive) To make addicted; to captivate.
    He had gotten hooked on cigarettes in his youth.
    I watched one episode of that TV series and now I'm hooked.
  7. (cricket, golf) To play a hook shot.
  8. (field hockey, ice hockey) To engage in the illegal maneuver of hooking (i.e., using the hockey stick to trip or block another player)
    The opposing team's forward hooked me, but the referee didn't see it, so no penalty.
  9. (soccer) To swerve a ball; kick a ball so it swerves or bends.
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, BBC:
      The Reds carved the first opening of the second period as Glen Johnson's pull-back found David Ngog but the Frenchman hooked wide from six yards.
  10. (intransitive, slang) To engage in prostitution.
    I had a cheap flat in the bad part of town, and I could watch the working girls hooking from my bedroom window.
  11. (Scrabble) To play a word perpendicular to another word by adding a single letter to the existing word.
  12. (bridge, slang) To finesse.
  13. To seize or pierce with the points of the horns, as cattle in attacking enemies; to gore.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]