Definition of hoke
: 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 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.
Origin and Etymology of hoke
First Known Use: 1925
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