\ 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 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 The night before the wedding, the couple hosted a hoe-down rehearsal dinner, where the actress also donned a chic vintage lace Chloé dress alongside her denim clad husband-to-be, fitting for the beautiful Montana ranch setting. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Scoop on Kate Bosworth's Second Wedding Dress," 31 Dec. 2013 His songs are still sometimes about doing right and being a man, and there’s plenty of hoe-your-row working-dude pride. John Adamian, courant.com, "Best bets: Our 7 picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 8 Sep. 2019 Family and friends are invited to call at the funeral hoe from 10 to 11 AM just prior to the service. courant.com, "Norma DePietro," 10 Sep. 2019 Often there would be forty kids running around the area—washing pottery, sifting buckets, and pounding the earth with hoes and pickaxes. Rachel Poser, Harper's magazine, "Common Ground," 19 Aug. 2019 What had a head that looked like a spaceship, a mouth shaped like a camera shutter, and claws that resembled sharp fork hoes? Riley Black, Smithsonian, "Prehistoric Ocean Predator Resembles a Large and Vicious Horseshoe Crab," 31 July 2019 Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said a back hoe slid into the trench, killing the worker. Massarah Mikati, Houston Chronicle, "Construction worker killed in Galveston County," 14 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 In the former, the unpopularity of incumbent Daniel Malloy is creating a tough row to hoe for likely Democratic nominee Ned Lamont (famous for wresting away the party nomination from Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2006). Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Democrats Hope For Big Gubernatorial Gains This November," 16 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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Statistics for hoe

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hoe

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

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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

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

Comments on hoe

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