\ ˈbü How to pronounce boo (audio) \

Definition of boo

 (Entry 1 of 4)

used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten


noun (1)
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 constructions never 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


noun (2)
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 Even the term’s a joke on the French rocaille, an 18th-century term for opulent, decorative shellwork, and coco, a kind of frivolous ‘peek-a-boo’ gesture. Matthew Carey Salyer, Forbes, "Marvel’s ‘Hellfire Gala’ Event: A Rococo Blend Of Superheroes And Haute Couture," 21 Mar. 2021 In one form or another, peek-a-boo elements have been a common theme for the last few seasons. Jamila Stewart, Essence, "These 6 Trends Were Everywhere at Fashion Week," 22 Feb. 2021 Jordan wished his new boo a happy birthday in an Instagram post, a photo of the pair pictured posing back to back. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Why all eyes are on Michael B. Jordan and Lori Harvey: Everything we know," 15 Jan. 2021 The classic high-top fade worn by Anna’s narcissistic boo, Julius (Jay Pharoah), was inspired by Bobby Brown. Craigh Barboza, Los Angeles Times, "1980s high-top fades and asymmetrical bobs are just part of the horror of ‘Bad Hair’," 14 Feb. 2021 Treat your boo to a selection of sumptuous vegan cookies from Partake, which are, among other things, Jay-Z's favorite treat. Marissa Miller, USA TODAY, "15 amazing Valentine's Day gifts to buy from Black-owned brands," 4 Feb. 2021 And if your ex-boo was an especially snaky one, pay $20 more to have zoo keepers feed a frozen rat to a reptile instead. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Name a cockroach after your ex and watch it get eaten for Valentine's Day," 31 Jan. 2021 The two had fun on the water, alternating between lounging on a floating platform and hitting the waves on a jet ski, with Jordan driving while Harvey held on tight to her boo. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Michael B. Jordan and Girlfriend Lori Harvey Leave St. Barts After Romantic Getaway," 22 Jan. 2021 Keep clicking to peep our favorite Amazon valentines worth sending your boo on February 14. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, "18 Amazon Valentine’s Day Gifts They’ll Swoon Over," 13 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oakland fans showed up for opening day looking to boo the Astros just as much as cheer their own team. Matt Young, Chron, "A's get standing ovation for hitting two Astros batters, still lose," 2 Apr. 2021 Our fans would not boo or jeer at opposing teams or officials. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "If I Owned a Sports Team," 31 Mar. 2021 Four innings in, the crowd got up the nerve to boo the ump and baseball was back to normal. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "6 of the strangest Opening Days in Reds history," 30 Mar. 2021 One ardent Los Angeles Dodgers fan didn’t hesitate to boo the Chicago Cubs and generally voice his displeasure when something didn’t go the Dodgers’ way during Thursday’s Cactus League game at Camelback Ranch. Meghan Montemurro, chicagotribune.com, "3 takeaways from Chicago Cubs spring training Thursday, including Trevor Williams’ lab work and Nico Hoerner’s hot start," 5 Mar. 2021 Boston Celtics’ fans still haven’t gotten their chance to boo Kyrie Irving. Mike Mazzeo, Forbes, "Boston Celtics’ Fans Want To Forget About Kyrie Irving, But Brooklyn Nets’ Star Isn’t Making That Easy," 12 Mar. 2021 In the past 12 months of struggling with the coronavirus, one figure has come to symbolize forthrightness, scientific rigor, and epidemiological experience—at least to the majority of the American public that doesn’t boo when his name is mentioned. Steven Levy, Wired, "Anthony Fauci Pleads: Don’t Declare Victory," 3 Mar. 2021 After most of the NBA started out the season with no fans, local laws now permit many teams to have fans to cheer them on — or boo them — in person. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Shaquille O'Neal says he hopes fans returning to NBA arenas is a "sign we might be turning a corner"," 26 Feb. 2021 Fortunately for the players, no one was there to boo them off the court after the first half, and the only ones fleeing for the exits early were media members who had seen enough. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Hey NBA — why play games in empty, cavernous arenas this season? Try high school gyms instead.," 26 Dec. 2020

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

Cite this Entry

“Boo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boo. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of boo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on boo

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