\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In April 1999, however, the Schwebebahn experienced its darkest hour: five people died and 47 were injured when a train collided with a 100-kilogram iron hook left during construction work and plunged eight meters into the Wupper. Marcel Krueger, CNN, 16 May 2022 After catching Castaño with a right uppercut and a left hook for the first knockdown, Charlo dropped Castaño again seconds later with two left hands to the head and a left to the body, leaving Castaño on the canvas. Greg Beacham, ajc, 15 May 2022 The pain clearly lingered for the Argentine, and Charlo pounced with a combination of a right hook to the body and a left to the head to floor Castano for good. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 15 May 2022 To make room for these new series, some older shows could get the hook. Anne Easton, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Perhaps sensing that this project needs a little bit of an IRL hook, winning bidders also take home two physical prints of the design sketches, each signed by Pininfarina’s chairman, Paolo Pininfarina. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 13 May 2022 In addition to the attention-grabbing title, the song had perhaps the closest thing to a pop hook to be found in her oeuvre up till then. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Meanwhile, savvy shoppers keen on collecting unique mementos won't want to miss Sonya's, home of the original St. Croix hook bracelet. Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2022 In this melancholy track, Harlow teams up with pop superstar Justin Timberlake, a Memphis, Tennessee, native, who sings the hook. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are two positions the spring can hook into the arm to offer stronger or weaker spring force. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 14 Apr. 2022 There’s a genuine shock of the new, which has undoubtedly helped hook a new generation of aficionados. Maya Singer, Vogue, 30 Mar. 2022 But hook them in place and voilà: a more lifted cheek, jaw, et cetera. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 24 Mar. 2022 Just hook it up to the hose and twist the nozzle to choose your cleaner. Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Mar. 2022 The rules state: Anglers must hook fish in the mouth and must use the lure or bait provided. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Mar. 2022 Marvel can hook the non-Marvel stories into the MCU. Chris Smith, BGR, 9 Feb. 2022 Kids need fun silly books to help hook and engage them into reading. Amir Vera And Abby Bustin, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 Ukraine is now operating as an ‘island’ regime hoping to hook-up with the European network as quickly as possible. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hook. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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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