\ ˈbü \

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

Decades later, Gianni Versace played with their peek-a-boo aspects. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Inspired by Craig Green’s Fall 2019 Lineup, a Look at Fantastic Plastics in Fashion," 7 Jan. 2019 Castro hit him with a pitch in his next plate appearance, eliciting boos from the home crowd, and Pujols was hitless in his final two plate appearances. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles fall behind early, are swept out of Anaheim with most lopsided loss of season, 12-3," 4 May 2018 Stanton received a smattering of boos from the sparse Bronx crowd after his fourth strikeout and a noticeably louder chorus after the fifth. Ted Berg, USA TODAY, "Yankees home opener: Didi Gregorius drives in 8; Giancarlo Stanton strikes out 5 times," 3 Apr. 2018 Bradner is particularly beautiful with its peek-a-boo views of the Olympic Mountains and downtown. The Seattle Times, "Secret Seattle: 10 hidden neighborhood hangouts," 15 Oct. 2018 That phone call to your boo probably isn't worth it. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Reminder: You Still Can't Make Phone Calls on a Flight," 9 July 2018 Boundless gratitude to my boos @todaytamara [and] @amberrosetamblyn for planning a magical and powerful celebration. Emily Wang, Glamour, "America Ferrera Just Welcomed Her First Child—and the Pic Is So Cute," 29 May 2018 There’s no question all this nickel-and-diming and playing peek-a-boo with fees is aggravating passengers. Bill Mcgee, USA TODAY, "A plea for transparency on airline fees," 10 Jan. 2018 In fact, alongside Olivia (Alexa Adeosun) and fellow boo Kevin (Nick Sagar) is Vanessa’s actual body double, super visible in the frame. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Fans Spotted Mistakes in Netflix's "The Princess Switch," Including Vanessa Hudgens's Body Double," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Teachers booed when walkout organizers told them about the adjournment. Ricardo Cano, USA TODAY, "Teachers strike in Arizona for more education money; protests spread to Colorado," 21 Apr. 2018 Serums like CosRX's Triple C Lightning Liquid, my choice, use antioxidants to intercept free radicals (boo, hiss), which gradually break down your skin's ability to repair itself. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "How Easing Into Retinol Led to My Best Skin Ever," 13 Mar. 2018 Several hundred of the 15,000 at Civic Center Plaza booed and walked out of the huge assembly as the ex-Cassius Clay and ex-heavy-weight world champion hammered out his Black Muslim doctrine. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "Survivors thank ‘strange’ liberators," 18 Apr. 2018 Poor Lionel gets booed for simply being honest and telling Alyssa her identity didn’t come through with that performance. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Recap: The Top 14 Revealed Following Celebrity Duets (Critics' Take)," 17 Apr. 2018 Each time the fighters started to grapple on the ground, the fans booed, seeking to prompt the referee to get them back to their feet. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale story can be told through the crowd," 14 Apr. 2018 When Thompson's face was shown on the big screen at the arena on Wednesday during a game against the New York Knicks, a spattering of fans booed him, according to Us Weekly. Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com, "Cavs center Tristan Thompson, Khloe Kardashian cheating rumors set Cleveland buzzing," 12 Apr. 2018 As the national anthem played, the crowd began to boo them. Deneen L. Brown, The Seattle Times, "An iconic Olympics moment: Looking back at the Black Power salute that rocked the world in 1968," 16 Oct. 2018 At the trophy ceremony later that evening, the audience booed loudly; both Osaka and Williams cried, before embracing each other, as Williams came to her competitor’s side. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "U.S. Open Champion Naomi Osaka Gets an Endorsement From Japan’s Most Major Fashion Brand," 10 Sep. 2018

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


1565, in the meaning defined above


1801, 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 1565

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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

: 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 \

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

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