\ ˈbü How to pronounce boo (audio) \

Definition of boo

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten


plural boos

Definition of boo (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a shout of disapproval or contempt
2 : any utterance at all usually used in negative constructions never said boo


booed; booing; boos

Definition of boo (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to deride especially by uttering a prolonged boo

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for boo

Synonyms: Noun

bird [chiefly British], Bronx cheer, catcall, hiss, hoot, jeer, raspberry, razz, snort

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of boo in a Sentence


A chorus of boos was heard after the shot missed the goal. The announcement was greeted by a mixture of boos and cheers.


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

Bring your promiscuous husband and dance the night away, boo! Terra Jolé, PEOPLE.com, "Terra Jolé Says Little Women: LA Costar Briana's Marriage Is a 'Reckless Version of Love'," 6 July 2017 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

The loathing for Atlanta United was even on international display during the MLS All-Star Game last week at Exploria Stadium, when boos rained down from the stands every time an Atlanta player touched the ball. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "Atlanta United crushes Orlando City’s dreams — again," 8 Aug. 2019 Once Martinez’s homer landed over the wall, relievers in the Cardinals’ bullpen jumped and down as boos rained down from the crowd of 37,652. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds collapse in 6th inning, cough up 7-run lead in loss to St. Louis Cardinals," 19 July 2019 Pumpkin into carriage, cabbage into concert hall, bippidi-bobbidi-boo. Angela Serratore, Curbed, "The magical (postmodern) world of Disney," 17 July 2019 Replay displayed at BB&T Center appeared to show Franklin crossing the finish line slightly ahead of Jackson, bringing boos from the pro-Franklin hometown crowd. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Marquise Goodwin wins inaugural 40 Yards of Gold; Chad Johnson hopes to grow the NFL speed event," 30 June 2019 Buttigieg’s introduction drew a mix of applause and vigorous boos. Matt Pearce, latimes.com, "Black residents of South Bend unload on Mayor Pete Buttigieg," 23 June 2019 Before each game, Boston fans serenaded St. Louis’s starting six with thundering boos. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "The Blues’ Stunning Stanley Cup Run Was Keyed by a Rookie Goaltender," 13 June 2019 In the seconds leading up to the first penalty kick of Wednesday night, Exploria Stadium echoed with boos. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City defeats NYCFC in penalty kicks, advances to U.S. Open Cup semifinals," 10 July 2019 No matter what anyone will ever have to say, this is my boo. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Lala Kent Says She Deleted Engagement Photo with Randall Emmett in an 'Angry' Moment," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Lions allowed nine sacks, completed just seven passes and were booed off the field at halftime after gaining just three first downs. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' preseason-opening loss to Patriots ugly in almost every way," 8 Aug. 2019 Cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s first pass in a seven-on-seven drill and returned it down the field with bleachers full of Raiders fans booing his every stride. Los Angeles Times, "Jared Goff, Rams offense look much sharper in joint practice against Raiders," 7 Aug. 2019 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’’ as fans of his folk style booed and heckled. Hillel Italie, BostonGlobe.com, "Oscar-winning documentary maker D.A. Pennebaker dies at 94," 3 Aug. 2019 More often than not, when the Hurricanes had to punt at home, fans at Hard Rock Stadium booed when either trotted onto the field. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, sun-sentinel.com, "UM’s Aussie punter Louis Hedley hasn’t played a snap yet — but he’s already a Hurricanes sensation," 3 Aug. 2019 Before reporters entered the room, Mr. McCarthy told the crowd about the outage, according to one attendee, and the audience booed. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Trump’s ‘Social Media Summit’ Airs Grievances Against Big Tech," 11 July 2019 Cano, last seen in New York being booed, is scheduled to return to the starting lineup Tuesday after being on the injured list with a strained quadriceps against the San Francisco Giants. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Robinson Cano embodied the Mets' bravado this winter. He now needs to prove it," 3 June 2019 Florida was playing Edmondson’s old school, The Citadel, and Edmondson couldn’t believe his ears when the Gators took the field amid UF fans booing the team. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "All fans should be a little more like Mr. Two Bits | Commentary," 13 July 2019 Football fans know passionately to do their part, too, to show up, to cheer or boo, or to simply make a better stew. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al.com, "The stinky fish of football season in Alabama," 12 July 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


1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1833, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for boo


Middle English bo

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Time Traveler for boo

The first known use of boo was in 1639

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More Definitions for boo



English Language Learners Definition of boo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a sound that people make to show they do not like or approve of someone or something
informal : any sound at all



English Language Learners Definition of boo (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boo

Spanish Central: Translation of boo

Nglish: Translation of boo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on boo

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


a period when something is suspended

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