\ ˈhō How to pronounce hoe (audio) \

Definition of hoe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
2 : backhoe


hoed; hoeing

Definition of hoe (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

Other Words from hoe


hoer \ ˈhō(-​ə)r How to pronounce hoe (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 The Pulaski is a firefighting tool with a sharp hoe on one end and an ax-head on the other. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2020 The coa, a cross between a hoe and a machete, is used to cut the leaves and separate the core from the rest of the plant. Oj Lima, Bon Appétit, 22 July 2022 Crouching for up to 10 hours between the furrows of a Nebraska field, Fausto Ríos, 17, could trim and separate 70 beets in a single minute with a small hoe. Selene Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2022 With a small, one-handed hoe, a planter opened a hole in the wet earth, which parted with a squelch. New York Times, 13 July 2022 Getler hired a local equipment operator who began carving a switchback path that would allow his track hoe to descend the steep grade to the dig site. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 This set—which includes McLeod (pictured), hoe, and saw heads—was crowned by our test crew as the most comprehensive trail-care kit out there. Outside Online, 27 May 2022 By day’s end, the track hoe finally reached the site. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 Grab a hoe or get down on your hands and knees to pull weeds out by the root. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And don’t tell In De Goot that hard rock/metal bands have an especially hard row to hoe. Katherine Turman, Variety, 12 Apr. 2022 The new director of the nation's top public health institute is looking at a tough row to hoe. Star Tribune, 14 Feb. 2021 Mackay's Moral: Pray for a good crop but don't forget to hoe. Harvey Mackay, Star Tribune, 13 Dec. 2020 There’s concern he’ll get lost in the shuffle some weeks, and being a rookie receiver isn’t an easy row to hoe amid the demands of a normal season. Cory Bonini, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2020 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, 16 Mar. 2020 Other than this is going to be a tough road to hoe for Brian Flores. Albert Breer, SI.com, 9 Sep. 2019 That leaves advocates such as Taddese and Berhe with a tough row to hoe. Los Angeles Times, 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, 3 June 2019 See More

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.

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

Learn More About hoe

Time Traveler for hoe

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hoe




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Statistics for hoe

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hoe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoe. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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

Hoe biographical name (1)

\ ˈhō How to pronounce Hoe (audio) \

Definition of Hoe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Richard March 1812–1886 son of Robert Hoe American inventor


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hoe (Entry 2 of 2)

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


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