\ ˈhō How to pronounce hoe (audio) \

Definition of hoe

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : any of various implements for tilling, mixing, or raking especially : a tool with a thin flat blade on a long handle used especially for cultivating, weeding, or loosening the earth around plants


hoed; hoeing

Definition of hoe (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to work with a tool with a thin flat blade on a long handle to cultivate, weed, or loosen the earth around plants : to use or work with a hoe (see hoe entry 1) or backhoe hoeing in the garden all day

transitive verb

1 : to weed, cultivate, or thin (a crop) with a hoe (see hoe entry 1) hoeing carrots and turnips
2 : to remove (weeds) by hoeing
3 : to dress or cultivate (land) by hoeing The garden needs to be hoed.


biographical name (1)
\ ˈhō How to pronounce Hoe (audio) \

Definition of Hoe (Entry 3 of 4)

Richard March 1812–1886 son of Robert Hoe American inventor


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hoe (Entry 4 of 4)

Robert 1784–1833 American (English-born) printing-press manufacturer

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Other Words from hoe


hoer \ ˈhō(-​ə)r How to pronounce hoer (audio) \ noun

Examples of hoe in a Sentence

Verb The garden has to be hoed. She was hoeing in the garden all day.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some 7,000 years ago, Mesopotamians developed the ard, a wooden hoe-like implement pulled behind draft animals to stir the earth in barley and chickpea fields. Brian Barth, Popular Science, "The secret to curbing farm emissions is buried in the Stone Age," 1 Apr. 2020 Today, his headstone is often decorated with Mardi Gras beads and his tombstone is etched with the insignia of the Cowbellions: a cow’s head, rake, a hoe and a cow bell. Kelly Kazek | Kkazek@al.com, al, "When Alabama’s Mardi Gras was a New Year’s celebration," 24 Dec. 2019 Then plunge the blades of your shovels and hoes into the sand, et voila! Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Clear Decks, Fresh Mulch, Can’t Lose: Our Garden Spring Cleaning Guide," 10 Mar. 2020 The company needed a muffler recently for a track hoe. David Streitfeld, New York Times, "Prime Anchor: An Amazon Warehouse Town Dreams of a Better Life," 28 Dec. 2019 One is a 1648 deed for the sale of East Hampton from the Shinnecock and three other tribes — payment included 20 coats, 24 looking glasses, 24 hoes, 24 hatchets, 24 knives and 100 mugs — to early British settlers. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "Indians in the Hamptons Stake Claim to a Tiny Eel With a Big Payday," 1 Feb. 2018 The area surrounding each is slashed and cleared with hoes to produce a firebreak to protect it from occasional wildfires. Washington Post, "Malawi fights tsetse flies, disease after wildlife relocated," 30 Oct. 2019 Hatchery Manager Ron Hopper says the fish were cut with garden hoes, ice choppers or other tools. USA TODAY, "Surfboard proposal, Duke dorm opossum, Sky Bar’s back: News from around our 50 states," 15 Nov. 2019 One model, wearing a splotched collared shirt—with two big-iPhone-size pockets—stomped down the runway in combat boots, holding a shiny hoe, as if part of a mob confronting Frankenstein’s monster. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Maintain Dig in blood and bone meal along with compost once the soil dries out a little (to prevent clods); wait for weed sprouts to follow, then hoe them in. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Your Ultimate Spring Gardening To-Do List for March and April," 16 Mar. 2020 Other than this is going to be a tough road to hoe for Brian Flores. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Eye-Opening Weekend: Lamar Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Dak Prescott and the Pats Light It Up," 9 Sep. 2019 That leaves advocates such as Taddese and Berhe with a tough row to hoe. Los Angeles Times, "Could teff, an ancient African grain, find a foothold in a warming California?," 3 Sep. 2019 Also, readers should know that Apple faces a long, hard row to hoe in getting websites and apps to sign on to this. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple WWDC 2019: iTunes is yesterday; today's all about swifter new iOS features," 3 June 2019 What’s different in 2018 is that most of the smaller Oscar contenders — and even some of the bigger ones — have found tough rows to hoe at the box office. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "It looks like the Oscars are going to nominate a bunch of big hits for Best Picture," 30 Nov. 2018 During the war years, dandelions were grown in neat rows allowing farmers to hoe between lines of the plants. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Dandelions Ruin Your Front Yard but Could Be the Future of the Rubber Industry," 2 Oct. 2018 Fortunately, these seedlings are easy to hoe away and once taken down to the soil don't regenerate. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what’s eating your currant bushes and ‘spitting’ on your wild roses," 13 July 2018 My first job at 14 was hoeing on a tree nursery, all day, five days a week. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dirt under your fingernails is a mental health remedy," 22 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hoe

Noun and Verb

Middle English howe, from Anglo-French houe, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German houwa mattock, houwan to hew — more at hew

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Time Traveler for hoe

Time Traveler

The first known use of hoe was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hoe

Cite this Entry

“Hoe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoe. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for hoe


How to pronounce Hoe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hoe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a garden tool that has a flat blade on a long handle



English Language Learners Definition of hoe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to work on (something, such as a garden or a crop) with a hoe


\ ˈhō How to pronounce hoe (audio) \

Kids Definition of hoe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tool with a long handle and a thin flat blade used for weeding and cultivating


hoed; hoeing

Kids Definition of hoe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to weed or loosen the soil around plants with a hoe

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More from Merriam-Webster on hoe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoe

Spanish Central: Translation of hoe

Nglish: Translation of hoe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hoe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hoe

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