1 of 2


: 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 of 2


hoed; hoeing

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

: to weed, cultivate, or thin (a crop) with a hoe (see hoe entry 1)
hoeing carrots and turnips
: to remove (weeds) by hoeing
: to dress or cultivate (land) by hoeing
The garden needs to be hoed.
hoer 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
Maintain and clean canals and drainage ditches using shovels, hoes, rakes, pitchforks and power tools. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 Staying engaged, in fact, might be the hardest part — especially for a team with such a long row to hoe. John Shipley, Twin Cities, 14 Jan. 2024 Secure with a rubber band and place in your hoes at night to soak up lingering moisture and smells. Dwyer Frame, Health, 31 Oct. 2023 On our first day, after our briefing and suiting up, we were all issued cultivators: garden tools from the local Canadian Tire with long wooden handles that, instead of a rake or a hoe at the end, have three curved prongs. Hazlitt, 20 Sep. 2023 Popular weeding tools include claw weeders, sickles, hoes, rakes, and digging forks. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2023 In addition to a shovel, it can also be positioned into a hoe, which is especially helpful for gardeners and farmers. L. Daniela Alvarez, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 Stirrup hoes are a weeding essential for gardeners working to remove weeds from garden beds and other loose ground environments. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2023 Pull weeds out by the roots or cut off the top growth with a hoe. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2023
Amazon’s focus on augmenting Buy with Prime with additional services like Buy with Prime Assist is a clear indication that there are still plenty of rows to be hoed in this arena. Chris Walton, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Johnnie was the gardener who planted, hoed, and harvested. Ronni Lundy, Southern Living, 25 Aug. 2023 As a package, the Shelby Charger has hoed a long row from its 1982 fall debut as a crude but effective boy racer. Jean Lindamood, Car and Driver, 28 Mar. 2023 In any case, right now, pull or hoe the stuff up. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 3 June 2021 Opener Gordie Brown had a tough row to hoe, with an audience eager for the main event. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hoe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near hoe

Cite this Entry

“Hoe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoe. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a farm or garden tool with a thin flat blade at nearly a right angle to a long handle that is used especially for weeding and loosening the earth


2 of 2 verb
hoed; hoeing
: to use or work with a hoe

Biographical Definition

Hoe 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Richard March 1812–1886 son of Robert Hoe American inventor


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Robert 1784–1833 American (English-born) printing-press manufacturer
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!