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See also: Hoot



From Middle English houten, huten, hoten, of North Germanic origin, from or related to Old Swedish huta (to cast out in contempt), related to Middle High German hiuzen, hūzen (to call to pursuit), Swedish hut! (begone!, interjection), Dutch hui (ho, hallo), Danish huj (ho, hallo).



hoot (plural hoots)

  1. A derisive cry or shout.
  2. The cry of an owl.
  3. (US, slang) A fun event or person. (See hootenanny)
  4. A small particle
    • 1878, John Hanson Beadle, Western Wilds, and the Men who Redeem Them, Jones Brothers, OCLC 7349592, page 611:
      Well, it was Sunday morning, and the wheat nothing like ripe; but it was a chance, and I got onto my reaper and banged down every hoot of it before Monday night.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (small particle) The term is nearly always encountered in a negative sense in such phrases as don't care a hoot or don't give two hoots.
  • (derisive cry) The phrase a hoot and a holler has a very different meaning to hoot and holler. The former is a short distance, the latter is a verb of derisive cry.



hoot (third-person singular simple present hoots, present participle hooting, simple past and past participle hooted)

  1. To cry out or shout in contempt.
    • 1711, John Dryden, “Satire IX”, in Dryden’s Juvenal:
      Matrons and girls shall hoot at thee no more,
  2. To make the cry of an owl.
  3. To assail with contemptuous cries or shouts; to follow with derisive shouts.
    • 1708, Isaac Bickerstaff [Jonathan Swift], Predictions for the Year 1708[1]:
      And I will be content, that Partridge, and the rest of his Clan, may hoot me for a Cheat and Impostor, if I fail in any single Particular of Moment.
  4. To sound the horn of a vehicle


See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. hot





  1. Precedes a disagreeing or contradictory statement.

Usage notes[edit]