ho·​bo | \ ˈhō-(ˌ)bō How to pronounce hobo (audio) \
plural hoboes also hobos

Definition of hobo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a migratory worker
2 : a homeless and usually penniless vagabond
3 or less commonly hobo bag : a large shoulder bag shaped like a pouch To punctuate the all-blue outfit, the actress slung on an unstructured, oversized suede hobo, a practical antidote to the current craze for fanny packs and mini bags.— Edward Barsamian


hoboed; hoboing; hobos

Definition of hobo (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to live or travel in the manner of a hobo

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Synonyms for hobo

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of hobo in a Sentence

Noun kind folks who always gave hoboes who came to the farm a meal and then sent them on their way
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From Japanese internees and hobos at the turn of the 20th century to taggers at the turn of the 21st, these graffiti artists reveal Los Angeles’s underground history. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From Los Angeles Graffiti to Korean Art," 24 Mar. 2020 Maisel bought the abandoned building in 1966, when the neighborhood was flush with hobos and artists, and the building is inextricably connected with his work as a photographer. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Jay Myself’ salutes both a building and its longtime owner, photographer Jay Maisel," 15 Aug. 2019 The show started with asymmetrical skirts in large, dyed patchwork denim paired with slouchy jackets and hobo bags in earth tones. Washington Post, "Before Oscars, stars pack Tom Ford’s fashion week show in LA," 8 Feb. 2020 Alternatively, squishable soft pouches and hobo bags have married into the ultimate hybrid baguette, with options from Bottega Veneta, Rag & Bone, and Staud. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Beloved ‘90s Shoulder Bag Gets a Modern Update for 2020," 21 Jan. 2020 Devon was played by Devon Abner, who in the episode in question was the one dressed as a hobo. Omar Sanchez, EW.com, "Creed Bratton was almost written off The Office during show's second season," 15 Jan. 2020 The poems depict a world of modern day hobos who lurk in train yards, and roam the underbelly of secondary cities like Moorhead and Bellingham. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Crypto’s Crown Prince Survived ‘The Craziest Bubble Ever.’ Now He’s Ready For a Second Act," 11 Dec. 2019 Abood kept it simple with a large peace-sign necklace and a hobo bag. Greg Burnett, cleveland, "'Think & Drink’: There’s a party at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History each third Thursday," 29 Nov. 2019 There’s a pleasant, scraggly, modern hobo, surfer-dude aesthetic to Creamery Station. John Adamian, courant.com, "Creamery Station a delicious CT-based roots-jam band coming to State House," 22 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hobo.' 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 hobo


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hobo


origin unknown

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Statistics for hobo

Cite this Entry

“Hobo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobo. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hobo


How to pronounce hobo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hobo

US : a person who has no place to live and no money and who travels to many different places


ho·​bo | \ ˈhō-bō How to pronounce hobo (audio) \
plural hoboes

Kids Definition of hobo

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