hol·​ler | \ ˈhä-lər How to pronounce holler (audio) \
hollered; hollering\ ˈhäl-​riŋ How to pronounce hollering (audio) , ˈhä-​lə-​ \

Definition of holler

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to cry out (as to attract attention or in pain) : shout hollering for help
2 : gripe, complain will always holler about tax increases

transitive verb

: to call out (a word or phrase) hollering her daughter's name



Definition of holler (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : shout, cry give a holler if you need any help
2 : complaint
3 : an African American work song freely improvised usually in terms of the particular occupation of the moment and often without words a cornfield holler


Definition of holler (Entry 3 of 3)

chiefly dialectal variant of

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Synonyms & Antonyms for holler

Synonyms: Verb

beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, complain, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grump, inveigh, keen, kick, kvetch, maunder [chiefly British], moan, murmur, mutter, nag, repine, scream, squawk, squeal, wail, whimper, whine, whinge [British], yammer, yawp (or yaup), yowl

Synonyms: Noun

cry, hoot, howl, shout, whoop, yell, yowl

Antonyms: Verb

crow, delight, rejoice

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Examples of holler in a Sentence


He was hollering across the fields to his workers. They were screaming and hollering at each other all night. She hollered across the street, “Did you hear the news?”. Someone was hollering my name. People always holler about tax increases.


heard a holler from somewhere in the woods and ran toward it there didn't seem to be a thermostat setting that wouldn't bring a holler from somebody
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Australian guitar rocker Courtney Barnett hollered from the stage in Grant Park at this summer’s Taste of Chicago. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Daywatch: Ex-top cop Garry McCarthy defends background checks, one of the largest Chicago office leases in recent years and other things to know to start your day," 20 Aug. 2019 The man hollered at them through his front door, then called the police. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "Amazon is developing high-tech surveillance tools for an eager customer: America's police," 8 Aug. 2019 The fans hollered their approval when Breida broke past linebacker David Mayo, and the ever-humble Breida merely kept his head down and brought the ball back to the huddle. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers training camp: Is Bourne making the receiver cut?," 2 Aug. 2019 On the same day that President Donald Trump insulted Baltimore via Twitter, a sellout crowd of 14,686 packed the city’s downtown arena to dance and holler for one of their own. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Gervonta Davis has dream return to Baltimore, retains world title by TKO at Royal Farms Arena," 28 July 2019 When the characters' voices were first featured in the movie, the audience hollered, and when Beyoncé's name flashed onscreen at the conclusion of the film, fans roared. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Beyoncé surprises at 'The Lion King' premiere with new song, 'Spirit'," 10 July 2019 When Amos punctured the balloon, a cloud of pink dust puffed out, eliciting squeals and hollers from those gathered around an old oak tree for the ceremony, Fox 13 News reported. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida couple uses pet alligator for gender reveal for family’s 10th child," 12 June 2019 While graduation is a formality for some, 26 students from Monterey High’s continuation program hooped, hollered and cried after turning their tassels during the school’s 36th annual commencement on campus Friday afternoon. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Grateful class of 2019 graduates from Monterey High School," 11 June 2019 Charlie Danielson was working his way around the putting green Wednesday at TPC Twin Cities when a few people hollered out his name. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "3M Open: For Osceola’s Charlie Danielson, home event is essential, special," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hoot and holler in England’s 1940s railway tunnel Tunnels are lots of fun to shout in, as any toddler will readily demonstrate, but here is one whose sound is particularly unusual. Trevor Cox, National Geographic, "15 musical wonders to see—and hear," 31 July 2019 Internet-video Trump enthusiasts Diamond (Lynnette Hardaway) and Silk (Rochelle Richardson) entered the meeting room to hoots and hollers. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "Inside the Women for Trump kickoff, where the president appears to have no problems with female voters," 16 July 2019 The Alps came through the clubhouse door to a mild effusion of hollers and hellos from the handful of patrons already ensconced. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "The Alps," 22 July 2019 Regardless, riders will nab a gentle incline, followed by a flowing downhill that is sure to leave a few hoots and hollers in the wind. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 Fans can’t get enough of the scream, quickly turning it into a Twitter meme and a Reddit joke, with everyone pretty much agreeing that with just one gut-wrenching holler, Streep earned herself an Emmy nod. Melissa Locker, Time, "Everyone Is Screaming for Meryl Streep's Big Little Lies Scream," 10 June 2019 A few dozen current and former journalists from the Capital Gazette — some with tears in their eyes — marched down Main Street to the sound of supportive whistles, hollers and applause. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Annapolis Independence Day parade honors freedom of the press, especially for The Capital," 5 July 2018 Ed shouted from the stern: Jason, you better holler for somebody. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 The 29-year-old singer took to Twitter on Monday (June 18) to give a holler to Post Malone and Lana Del Rey. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Kacey Musgraves Wants 'Countrified' Collaborations With Post Malone & Lana Del Rey," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holler.' 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 holler


1592, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for holler

Verb and Noun

alteration of hollo

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Statistics for holler

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holler

The first known use of holler was in 1592

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More Definitions for holler



English Language Learners Definition of holler

chiefly US, informal
: to call out loudly
: to make loud or angry complaints


hol·​ler | \ ˈhä-lər How to pronounce holler (audio) \
hollered; hollering

Kids Definition of holler

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cry out : shout



Kids Definition of holler (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on holler

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for holler

Spanish Central: Translation of holler

Nglish: Translation of holler for Spanish Speakers

Comments on holler

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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