Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Possibly a rhyming reduplication of halloo (used as a greeting or to catch attention; used in hunting to urge on pursuers), hilloa, hullo (variants of hello), and similar words.[1]



hullabaloo (plural hullabaloos)

  1. A clamour, a commotion; a fuss or uproar. [from 17th c.]
    Synonyms: ado, hype, to-do; see also Thesaurus:commotion
    They made such a hullabaloo about the change that the authorities were forced to change it back.
    • 1844, Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby, or The New Generation, volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], page 234–235:
      [] The truth of all this hullaballoo was that Rigby had a sly pension which, by an inevitable association of ideas, he always connected with the maintenance of an Aristocracy.
    • 1899 March, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number MI, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], →OCLC, part II:
      Certainly they had brought with them some rotten hippo–meat, which couldn’t have lasted very long, anyway, even if the pilgrims hadn’t, in the midst of a shocking hullabaloo, thrown a considerable quantity of it overboard.
    • 1967, Barbara Sleigh, Jessamy, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, published 1993, →ISBN, page 32:
      'Sarah, could you bring me the calendar from the wall over there? Does it say the right date?' 'Two days behind – and small wonder no one tore it off with all the hullaballoo going on. Ever so pretty, isn't it?' said Sarah as she handed the calendar to Jessamy.

Alternative forms[edit]



hullabaloo (third-person singular simple present hullabaloos, present participle hullabalooing, simple past and past participle hullabalooed)

  1. (intransitive) To make a commotion or uproar.
    • 1844, George Carter Needham, Street Arabs and Gutter Snipes: The Pathetic and Humorous Side of Young Vagabond Life in the Great Cities, with Records of Work for Their Reclamation, D. L. Guernsey:
      They roared, they danced, they hullaballoed, they pinched one another; they behaved like young savages – but I knew I had got them safe.
    • 1867, Cometh Up as a Flower: An Autobiography, volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], pages 53–54:
      "Nonsense, child," said my father, smiling. "Did you ever see a stone thrown into the pond? there's a great splash, and a few circles on the water, and that's about all, isn't it? Well, when I die there'll be a great splash of tears and hullaballooing, and a few circles of tender recollections, and then the surface will smooth itself over, and it'll be all right again."
    • 1952, Dylan Thomas, “Author’s Prologue”, in Collected Poems, 1934–1952[1], Dent:
      Ho, hullaballoing clan / Agape, with woe / In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
    • 2012 October 30, Jessica Redmond, “It was all yellow: Some dude defaces a Rothko in the name of ‘yellowism’”, in Columbia Spectator[2]:
      Twitter broke the news, and soon enough, the media hullaballooed over this latest act of art vandalism.
    • 2013 January 8, Rory Carroll, “CES 2013: TV companies hope size and sharpness are the future”, in The Guardian[3]:
      In addition to size, manufacturers hope to attract buyers with added gadgetry despite disappointing sales of 3D televisions, an innovation hullaballooed at CES last year only to flop in stores.



Further reading[edit]