\ ˈbü How to pronounce boo (audio) \

Definition of boo

 (Entry 1 of 4)

used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten
plural boos

Definition of boo (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a shout of disapproval or contempt
2 : any utterance at all usually used in negative constructionsnever said boo


booed; booing; boos

Definition of boo (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to deride especially by uttering a prolonged boo

transitive verb

: to express disapproval of by booing the crowd booed the referee
plural boos

Definition of boo (Entry 4 of 4)

US slang
: a romantic partner : sweetheart, honey Your parents might keep a sharp eye on potential partners and your besties may lay down difficult "friend tests," but only one real opinion on your new boo truly matters: what your dog thinks of them.— Jaime Lees This has left me skeptical of all new relationships—including my new boo.— Griffin Wynne

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Synonyms & Antonyms for boo

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Antonyms: Noun (1)

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Examples of boo in a Sentence

Noun (1) A chorus of boos was heard after the shot missed the goal. The announcement was greeted by a mixture of boos and cheers. Verb Many people in the crowd booed when the announcement was made. Many people in the crowd booed the announcement, but a few people cheered it.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Interjection C’mon, when the day began the Dodgers were in third place in the standings, but led the league in pitching and led all of baseball in run differential and … boo! Bill Plaschke, latimes.com, "From day to day, the Dodgers stay unpredictable," 25 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dating in 2020 is a roller coaster, from endless swiping to video chat dates, the worry that your quarantine-boo might be fake is all too real. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, "How good are you at spotting bots on dating-apps?," 11 July 2020 House of Payne actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is totally in love with her boo, actor Brad James. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Actors Keshia Knight Pulliam and Brad James Made Memories On Their Boat Date," 8 July 2020 When Mayor Bill de Blasio took the stage, boos nearly drowned out his brief remarks. Rachel Riederer, The New Yorker, "Scenes from the George Floyd Memorial in Brooklyn," 5 June 2020 Co-written with Victoria Monét, this R&B tune is for those just with the crew and not out looking for boo. 2. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, "Chloe x Halle, Yebba and Jacob Collier Offer Danceable Grooves In Time For Summer," 22 May 2020 The ten contestants from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia will try to leave the tropical paradise with simply a new boo and some cash instead of a ring on their finger. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "Netflix's 'Too Hot To Handle,' Explained," 16 Apr. 2020 Freese earned more boos from Milwaukee fans by driving in three runs. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A recap of all 50 season openers for the Brewers," 25 Mar. 2020 Both Jordan and Gurley had issues with the controller disconnecting, and while the celebrities handled the impromptu stoppage time, the event still received some boos from the crowd. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Winners and losers from Call of Duty League’s Los Angeles home series, including Dallas Empire’s teenage duo," 9 Mar. 2020 His Timberwolves tenure had included four head coaches, a 174-286 record and occasional boos from the home crowd. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Andrew Wiggins is finding new life with the Warriors," 9 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No longer can teams also depend on fans to boo their opponents. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "'You got to create your own energy here': How NBA players, coaches have adjusted without fans in bubble," 31 July 2020 Many people in the crowd turned their backs on him and started to boo the mayor. Fox News, "De Blasio: NYC to cut NYPD funding, shift it to social services," 8 June 2020 A few fans booed at the end of the night after the Wings lost to the St. Louis Blues, 2-1, but Ilitch’s acquisition of the team after 50 years of Norris family ownership rallied fans. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Before Al the Octopus, the Detroit Red Wings had the Red Winger," 22 Apr. 2020 On Friday night, Rashida Tlaib, one of Sanders’s most outspoken surrogates, made headlines for booing a mention of Hillary Clinton at a campaign event. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Front-Runner," 1 Feb. 2020 At around the same time that Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., booed Hillary Clinton at a Bernie Sanders campaign event on Friday, Elizabeth Warren’s surrogates here were pitching a different message: Party unity. NBC News, "Warren surrogates preach party unity," 1 Feb. 2020 Try to master one of those dance challenges online or check out a new Pinterest recipe, and let your boo sous-chef. Keyaira Kelly, Essence, "Come Through Romance! How These Cute Couples Are Making Date Night Magic In Their Living Rooms," 7 Apr. 2020 In the space of a few short years, the plan to close Rikers Island has gone from a radical pipe dream to an initiative loudly booed from the gallery of City Hall by anti-carceral activists. Nick Pinto, The New Republic, "Criminal justice reformers are rethinking the crusade against cash bail.," 6 Apr. 2020 In Sunday's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, Xhaka appeared to provoke fans who were booing him off the field, before taking his shirt off and storming straight down the tunnel. SI.com, "'Devastated' Granit Xhaka Dropped From Arsenal Squad to Face Liverpool After Clash With Fans," 29 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of boo


1639, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1833, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

1988, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for boo


expressive formation; the voiced labial release and high vowel presumably heighten the suddenness of the utterance

Noun (1)

derivative of boo entry 1


derivative of boo entry 2

Noun (2)

of uncertain origin

Note: Perhaps ultimately a hypocoristic reduction of brother, applied to unrelated males, but the details are unclear.

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Learn More about boo

Statistics for boo

Cite this Entry

“Boo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boo. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for boo



English Language Learners Definition of boo

: to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting "Boo" slowly
\ ˈbü How to pronounce boo (audio) \

Kids Definition of boo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to express disapproval or to startle or frighten


plural boos

Kids Definition of boo (Entry 2 of 3)

: a cry expressing disapproval


booed; booing

Kids Definition of boo (Entry 3 of 3)

: to express disapproval of with boos

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More from Merriam-Webster on boo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boo

Spanish Central: Translation of boo

Nglish: Translation of boo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boo for Arabic Speakers

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