hoked; hoking

transitive verb

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

Did you know?

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.

Word History



First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hoke was in 1925


Dictionary Entries Near hoke

Cite this Entry

“Hoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoke. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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