hoke

verb
\ ˈhōk How to pronounce hoke (audio) \
hoked; hoking

Definition of hoke

transitive verb

: to give a contrived, falsely impressive, or hokey quality to usually used with uphoke up a movie with lots of action

Hoke Is a Back-Formation

Hoke is a back-formation of hokum, which was probably created as a blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum. Hokum is a word for the theatrical devices used to evoke a desired audience response. The verb hoke appeared in the early 20th century and was originally used (as it still can be today) when actors performed in an exaggerated or overly sentimental way. Today, it is often used adjectivally in the form hoked-up, as in "hoked-up dialogue." The related word hokey was coined soon after hoke to describe things that are corny or phony.

First Known Use of hoke

1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hoke

hokum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hoke

Listen to Our Podcast about hoke

Statistics for hoke

Cite this Entry

“Hoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoke. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

Comments on hoke

What made you want to look up hoke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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