\ 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 Cobb looked shaky over just two innings, getting a quick hook after yielding three runs. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Lakers fall to Washington Wizards," 29 Apr. 2021 Create a hook and include it at the beginning of your copy or in the first few seconds of your video. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "12 Ways To Grab Attention With Content," 27 Apr. 2021 Spurs forward Drew Eubanks even knocked down a sky hook at one point that would have made Kareem Abdul-Jabbar proud. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "The triple take: Spurs 146, Wizards 143 (OT)," 26 Apr. 2021 But my all-time favorite treat for small offerings for bass is a simple garden worm hooked either on a # 4 long-shanked Aberdeen hook or a 1/32nd ounce jighead and suspended below a float. Jim Gronaw, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Jim Gronaw: When bass want small baits | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 24 Apr. 2021 That sharp, short taste of what the ’90s could feel like on this show is a tantalizing hook to the next season. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Um, We Should Talk About That Wild For All Mankind Finale," 23 Apr. 2021 To hang your finished spring wreath, use a hook or hanger. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Make a Faux Cherry Blossom Wreath That's Perfect for Spring," 19 Apr. 2021 Rhiannon,' and 'Sara' by Fleetwood Mac that are just a fun way of creating a catchy hook and telling a story. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "RALPH Has A Thing For A Boy Named “Tommy”," 14 Apr. 2021 After a chance find of a vintage snap hook in a market in Tokyo, two friends—Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga—transformed the item into jewelry and started their brand Eéra. Daisy Shaw-ellis, Vogue, "Thirteen Contemporary Jewelry Labels To Invest In Now," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Regulators forced utilities in Wisconsin and Virginia to pay to hook homes up to a public water supply after contaminating their private drinking wells. Max Blau, ProPublica, "The Coal Plant Next Door," 22 Mar. 2021 The call seemed dubious after the Nets’ James Harden appeared to hook his arm underneath Leonard’s, then flail backward as Leonard gathered for a shot. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers and Nets’ superstar battle comes down to defense, and close call, at the end," 21 Feb. 2021 Gavin Spittle, brand manager for 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, had to frantically relocate studio equipment in order to hook into power generators on different floors of the station building. Steve Knopper, Billboard, "As Texas Freezes, Radio Scrambles to Stay On Air & Pivot From Music to Emergency Programming," 19 Feb. 2021 This two-gallon trash can will keep your mess contained and can hook securely on the glovebox, console, or headrest. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "12 useful products for anyone who owns a car," 9 Sep. 2020 Black Widow will deliver the standalone film the character never got in a decade of Marvel movies, but its post-credits scenes are expected to hook into other Marvel adventures, including films and TV series set after the events in Endgame. Chris Smith, BGR, "Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s shocking cameo will also appear in this new Marvel movie," 17 Apr. 2021 Ask Ottowill find the perfect match for you by giving you a quiz to determine your preferences, and then hook you up with anything from a jeep to a hard-to-score Lamborghini. Beth Landman, Forbes, "Insider Tips For A Palm Beach Visit," 7 Apr. 2021 During the Hawks’ second power play, Colton Sissons picked off Patrick Kane’s drop pass in the neutral zone and was off to the races the other way, prompting Adam Boqvist to hook him. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "5 takeaways from the Chicago Blackhawks’ costly 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, including a not-so-special special teams," 4 Apr. 2021 And so Gael takes a friend up on an offer to hook him up with an internship. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, "Good Trouble Recap: Art Breaker," 3 Mar. 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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hook. Accessed 14 May. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hook

Nglish: Translation of hook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hook for Arabic Speakers

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