\ 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

But too many of the big boo-boos this spring, including Sutherland’s that gift-wrapped a 2-0 lead for the Blues, weren’t really all that tough. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "D-Day anniversary truly puts hockey, life in perspective," 8 June 2019 And like ghosts, our boos will haunt you for all of eternity. Stephanie Farr, Philly.com, "5 reasons Trump should fear how Eagles fans might respond to canceled White House visit," 5 June 2018 That final, of course, was marred by controversy, as an argument between Serena Williams and the umpire, Carlos Ramos, ended in an ugly scene: Osaka in tears during the trophy ceremony as the crowd, firmly on Serena’s side, rained boos upon her. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "The New Number One: Naomi Osaka Is Playing to Win," 21 Mar. 2019 Look, those boos have been happening for a long time. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "ESPN's Jason Witten defends Cris Collinsworth, talks Tony Romo and is ready for Eagles fans," 11 May 2018 Yet, the boos were loud enough that Goodell's complete sentence couldn't be understood. David Humphrey, star-telegram, "I can't hear you. Fan boos drown out Roger Goodell at NFL Draft | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 Apr. 2018 But amid all of the cheerful talking squirrels and bippity-boppity-boos and eventual happily ever afters (usually involving impossibly small-waisted princesses), Disney decided that all of the mothers must die. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Does Disney Hate Mothers So Much?," 28 Mar. 2019 Eventually, Scott cracks and says one of Khloé and Kourtney's weird phrases, but not in a British accent (boo). Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Watching Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian Annoy Scott Disick in the Car Is Oddly Satisfying," 20 Mar. 2019 Later, she half-heartedly courts and then marries Samuel Masham (played by T-Swift’s boo and independently talented person, Joe Alwyn), which restores her to a title. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What Is The Favourite Movie About? It's a Rom-Com of a Sort," 23 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Dutch defender was the centre of attention to a large portion of England fans during the match and was subject to booing throughout, a reaction that club mate Gomez, could not understand. SI.com, "Joe Gomez Says Booing of Virgil van Dijk During Nations League Game 'Didn't Benefit' England," 8 June 2019 Why getting booed isn’t the end of the world Getting booed in front of 3,400 people sounds like a political candidate’s nightmare. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "California 2020 Countdown: Is getting booed a good campaign strategy? It worked for Dianne Feinstein," 6 June 2019 While both men have been booed at this Tour, Thomas comes across as a more palatable champion to the Tour faithful by the French roadside. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Team Sky’s Tour Problem: Two Cyclists, Only One Yellow Jersey," 23 July 2018 Spectators have been taunting four-time champion Froome since he was cleared of doping just before the race started, while Thomas has been whistled and booed at for being Froome’s teammate. Samuel Petrequin, The Seattle Times, "Brailsford blames French cycling culture for abuse of Sky," 23 July 2018 The audience of locals started booing, and Stephanopoulos was visibly bewildered. Beryl Love, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati takes on Nevada in round two of the NCCA basketball tournament – let’s make sure we pronounce the state correctly," 17 Mar. 2018 But do this: Walk into your office tomorrow and have two people boo you. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Johnny Bench Is Already a Hall-of-Famer, But He's Looking For a New Distinction," 5 July 2018 The star was reportedly booed over jokes about Kim Jong-un at the big Hollywood event. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Dennis Rodman reportedly booed at Bruce Willis roast over Kim Jong-un joke," 15 July 2018 The event, as has become custom in the GOP debates this election season, was a total circus, with a cheering and booing audience to match. Megan Friedman, Cosmopolitan, "9 Scary yet Mesmerizing Videos of the Republican Candidates With Snapchat Lenses," 4 Mar. 2016

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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Dictionary Entries near boo








Statistics for boo

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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