\ ˈhu̇k How to pronounce hook (audio) \

Definition of hook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a curved or bent device for catching, holding, or pulling
b : something intended to attract and ensnare
2 : something curved or bent like a hook especially hooks plural : fingers
3 : a flight or course of a ball that deviates from straight in a direction opposite to the dominant hand of the player propelling it also : a ball following such a course — compare slice
4 : a short blow delivered with a circular motion by a boxer while the elbow remains bent and rigid
5 : hook shot
7 : quick or summary removal used with get or give the pitcher got the hook after giving up three runs
8 : a device especially in music or writing that catches the attention
9 : a selling point or marketing scheme
by hook or by crook
: by any means
off the hook
1 : out of trouble
2 : free of responsibility or accountability
on one's own hook
: by oneself : independently


hooked; hooking; hooks

Definition of hook (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form into a hook : crook
2a : to seize or make fast by or as if by a hook
b : to connect by or as if by a hook often used with up
3 : steal, pilfer
4 : to make (something, such as a rug) by drawing loops of yarn, thread, or cloth through a coarse fabric with a hook
5 : to hit or throw (a ball) so that a hook results

intransitive verb

1 : to form a hook : curve
2 : to become hooked
3 : to work as a prostitute

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hook

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of hook in a Sentence

Noun She hit a hook into the left rough. He threw a right hook to his opponent's body. Verb The train cars were hooked together. My sweater was hooked on a branch. I hooked the door shut. The dress hooks in the back. The two parts hooked together. He hooked a large fish. He hooked his arm around my neck. She hooked her fingers around the doorknob. He hooked his thumb through a loop of his pants.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her phone started ringing off the hook in July as reality set in for parents that the pandemic wasn't going away any time soon: Schools were to be closed for much of the 2020-2021 school year. Andrew Van Dam And Heather Long Washington Post, Star Tribune, 18 June 2021 Her phone started ringing off the hook in July as reality set in for parents that the pandemic wasn’t going away any time soon: Schools were to be closed for much of the 2020-2021 school year. Washington Post, 18 June 2021 The official forecast track shows the system coming ashore in Louisiana, but that doesn’t mean Alabama will be off the hook. Leigh Morgan, al, 18 June 2021 Let yourself off the hook for a moment, and think about your situation. Yec, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Remind yourself that what's done is done, and let yourself off the hook, says Meier. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 7 June 2021 Former Apple security chief Thomas Moyer is off the hook for bribery. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 2 June 2021 Speaking with Vulture over the phone, Hickey discussed shooting during COVID, Broadway’s shutdown, and his streak of playing white cis men who try to let themselves off the hook. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 1 June 2021 Here's some of the biggest signs that this summer about to be off the hook. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Why not get him up to speed with the spinning craze and hook him up with a Myx bike? Marah Eakin, USA TODAY, 8 June 2021 Drinking and hook-up culture make rape more likely than not. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 7 June 2021 The Bruins trailed, 4-3, as the clock ticked down at the Garden, Claude Julien opting to hook Rask to attack with Zdeno Chara the lone defenseman behind Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Jaromir Jagr. BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021 And woe to the organization staging a musical or hanging an art exhibition or scheduling an orchestra that is not considering inventive ways to hook new as well as returning customers. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Amazon holds the event each year to build loyalty with Prime subscribers and hook new shoppers to the program. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 2 June 2021 Spend the afternoon choking back hot dogs and brewskis with your old man, but don’t forget to hook him up with some new Astros gear. Micolette Davis, Chron, 1 June 2021 In one example Jamf illustrated, the malware was able to hook into Zoom and record the user’s screen without any sort of prompt. Chris Morris, Fortune, 25 May 2021 Continue southwest past Ruedi Reservoir to hook trophy trout in the Fryingpan River before passing through the towns of Basalt and Carbondale to Marble. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, 17 May 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hook


Middle English, from Old English hōc; akin to Middle Dutch hoec fishhook, corner, Lithuanian kengė hook

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Time Traveler for hook

Time Traveler

The first known use of hook was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hook

Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hook. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hook



English Language Learners Definition of hook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a curved or bent tool for catching, holding, or pulling something
: a ball or shot in golf and other games that curves to the side instead of going straight
boxing : a punch coming from the side of the body instead of going straight forward



English Language Learners Definition of hook (Entry 2 of 2)

: to connect or attach (something) with a hook
: to be attached by hooks
: to catch (something, such as a fish) with a hook


\ ˈhu̇k How to pronounce hook (audio) \

Kids Definition of hook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a curved device (as a piece of bent metal) for catching, holding, or pulling something coat hook crochet hook
2 : something curved or bent like a hook a hook of land
by hook or by crook
: in any way : fairly or unfairly She's determined to get her way by hook or by crook.


hooked; hooking

Kids Definition of hook (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to bend in the shape of a hook He hooked his thumbs in his belt.
2 : to catch or fasten with a hook I hooked a fish.
3 : connect sense 1 She hooked the hose to the faucet.


\ ˈhu̇k How to pronounce hook (audio) \

Medical Definition of hook

1 : an instrument used in surgery to take hold of tissue a crypt hook a cordotomy hook
2 : an anatomical part that resembles a hook

More from Merriam-Webster on hook

Nglish: Translation of hook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hook for Arabic Speakers


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