al·​ley-oop | \ ˌa-lē-ˈyüp \

Definition of alley-oop

: a basketball play in which a leaping player catches a pass above the basket and immediately dunks the ball also : the usually looping pass thrown on such a play

First Known Use of alley-oop

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alley-oop

alteration of allez-oop, cry of a circus acrobat about to leap, probably from French allez, 2nd person plural imperative of aller to go + English -oop, perhaps alteration of up

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alley-oop

Listen to Our Podcast about alley-oop

Statistics for alley-oop

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alley-oop

The first known use of alley-oop was in 1965

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on alley-oop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alley-oop

Comments on alley-oop

What made you want to look up alley-oop? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!