\ 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

Moments after the news was announced, boos could be heard from the studio audience and all the judges stood up in complete shock. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Ready to Revolt After Monday's Shocking Elimination Results," 13 Nov. 2018 Photo: juan mabromata/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images The announcement was met with boos and whistling from the hundreds of River fans who had already flowed into the stadium after El Monumental opened its doors. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "South America’s Soccer Final Postponed for Second Time," 25 Nov. 2018 The crowd loudly boos at the close of an uneventful round. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida live round-by-round coverage," 12 May 2018 There is, however, some humor among the bygone boos, including the fact that more than one specter wants to stick its fingers in Goodman’s mouth. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: A Paranormal Sleuth Investigates Three ‘Ghost Stories’," 19 Apr. 2018 Those boos may be in reference to the fact that just ahead of the World Cup, Özil was asked to meet with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. SI.com, "Mesut Özil's Father Encourages Him to Retire From International Duty for Germany," 8 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The police were going to come take them away, people were going to boo them and throw things at them, and that was going to be the video. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘Sorry to Bother You’ director Boots Riley suspects social media platforms are hiding politics they don’t like," 8 Oct. 2018 When the announcer called the Koreans' names before their race Wednesday night, a few people booed Kim and Park. Author: Chelsea Janes, Anchorage Daily News, "They left their slower teammate behind. Now their country’s fans wants them banned.," 21 Feb. 2018 Even host Terry Crews cringed from the sidelines as people in the audience booed. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Star Mel B Got Booed After Criticizing Angelica Hale's Performance," 22 Jan. 2019 Earlier in the day, an official of the UN had been there, was booed and had shoes thrown at him. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Former Senator Joe Lieberman's Speech at John McCain's Memorial Service," 1 Sep. 2018 In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru. azcentral, "AZ Memo: Taylor Swift kicks off 'Reputation' tour tonight in Glendale; charter schools' financial red flags; needle exchange bill dies," 8 May 2018 Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon turned up but were both booed and heckled by the crowd. Antoine Crouin And Yelena Peigne, CNN, "Thousands rally in Paris to protest slaying of Holocaust survivor," 28 Mar. 2018 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

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
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

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