\ 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 On the second play of the game, there was Brown, trotting onto the field to a mixture of boos and cheers. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Antonio Brown's featured role in debut reveals Patriots' shamelessness," 15 Sep. 2019 On New England’s second play on Sunday, Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, entered the game to a mix of boos and cheers. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Antonio Brown’s Patriots Debut Is Business as Usual," 15 Sep. 2019 Taking a 10-7 deficit into halftime, the Bruins retreated to their locker room to a soundtrack of boos and whistles. Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Under Chip Kelly, UCLA is making the wrong kind of history," 7 Sep. 2019 Fifth drive: Three-and-out. Bolles’ issues The Broncos fans reserved their first-half boos for Bolles. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Talking Points: Crazy finish allows Chicago to win," 15 Sep. 2019 My favorite place to canoodle with my boo is at the mall. Longreads, "My Love Affair with Chairs," 13 Sep. 2019 Lil Kim, Ashanti, and her boo, Quavo also hit the stage to commemorate the launch. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "NYFW: Saweetie Hosts Celeb-Filled Fashion Show With PrettyLittleThing," 9 Sep. 2019 The crowd reserved its boos for a clip of quarterback Jay Cutler, who was invited but did not attend. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "The Bears at 100: Cheers and a Few Tears," 11 June 2019 His rise up the NFL draft board shocked many at the time; the pick garnered boos at MetLife Stadium when it was announced. Jill Martin, CNN, "Eli Manning benched as rookie Daniel Jones is named New York Giants starting QB," 17 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With the crowd now loudly booing, Williams asked to speak with tournament referee Brian Earley and supervisor Donna Kelso. Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "US Open: 'There's going to be some kind of big drama in the final'," 26 Aug. 2019 Osaka, in what should have been a celebratory moment, ended up in tears at the awards ceremony as the crowd booed and jeered the umpiring and the result. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams Crushes Maria Sharapova at the U.S. Open," 26 Aug. 2019 The half came to an end with the crowd booing as a handful of Timbers players crowded around Unkel. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Portland Timbers close out difficult week with 3-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps," 11 Aug. 2019 Attempting to tie the single-game major-league record of four home runs in a game, Aquino walked on four pitches in the sixth against Alec Mills, whom the crowd roundly booed. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Rookie phenom Aristides Aquino hits 3 home runs against the Cubs, and the Reds rough up Kyle Hendricks in a 10-1 rout," 9 Aug. 2019 The Revolution’s Cristian Penilla threatened early, going down in the penalty area as the crowd of 25,515 booed a no-call from referee Rubiel Vazquez in the 10th minute. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "Revolution’s 11-game unbeaten streak halted by LAFC," 3 Aug. 2019 At one point, when Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister on the hit HBO series, defended his character's controversial death scene, the crowd actually booed. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Was Booed During the 'Game of Thrones' Panel at Comic-Con," 21 July 2019 Kapler came out to lift Nola and the crowd booed, but the move was justifiable. Matt Breen, Philly.com, "Aaron Nola strikes out 10 and Phillies hold off Rockies," 12 June 2018 Hong Kongers angry over Beijing’s failure to introduce universal voting in the city have booed the song, which many in the city don’t identify with, at games in recent years. Vivienne Chow, Quartz, "Singing showdowns in Hong Kong pit the city’s unofficial new anthem against China’s," 12 Sep. 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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Statistics for boo

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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

: 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

Comments on boo

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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