\ ˈhu̇-kē How to pronounce hooky (audio) \
variants: or less commonly hookey
plural hookies also hookeys

Definition of hooky

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: truant used chiefly in the phrase play hooky


hookier; hookiest

Definition of hooky (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : curved or bent like a hook Her nose was long and hooky, and she had no teeth—or if she had them, they weren't in her mouth.— K. C. Constantine His coal-black, glossy hair commanded and obtained her admiration, and she found his hooky nose to be handsome.— Anthony Trollope
2 music : appealing and easy to remember : catchy a hooky melody/tune/rhythm … combining scintillating rhythm tracks with a kaleidoscope of hooky musical styles …— Dave Marsh Wild is a vibrant, hooky pop song flavored with Joni Mitchell illusions and funk.— Nelson George

Examples of hooky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Geto Boys’ dank, hooky antagonism stayed in the spotlight. August Brown, latimes.com, "Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill dies: Morbid, provocative — an unlikely hip-hop legend," 10 June 2019 The group of staffers, mostly women, fills seats around Wolfe Herd; the theater, with its menu of food and cocktails, provides a giddy sense of playing hooky rather than one of required reading. Daphne Beal, Marie Claire, "Whitney Wolfe Herd Has Big Plans for Bumble in 2019," 20 Sep. 2018 But all that music really came to life in concert, thanks to Mercury’s big voice and powerful strut, coupled with May’s hooky power chords and symphonic solos. Noel Murray, The Verge, "For the real Bohemian Rhapsody, stream the best recorded Queen concert this weekend," 2 Nov. 2018 With the back-to-school season finally upon us, the day provided kids (and kids at heart) one last opportunity to play hooky in elegant style. Vogue, "Bumble BFF, The Tot, and Peanut Get Ready for Back-to-School in Style," 27 Aug. 2018 Or just play hooky and buy a ticket to join the fun. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Riverbend concerts starting Friday will make I-275/Kellogg Ave. even less fun," 5 July 2018 Americans love few things more than a sporting circus or an excuse to slink out of the office and play hooky from work en masse. Roger Bennett, GQ, "Un-American Football: Your Guide to Enjoying This Yankee-Free World Cup," 12 June 2018 Or just play early-week hooky as sunshine and comfortable conditions return! A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat wave ends today. Cooler, damp weekend ahead.," 4 May 2018 But the band was clearly more interested in the tight hooky rocking pop of bands like Big Star and Cheap Trick or the sweet vocal harmonies of the Hollies than in noisy art rock and disaffected post-punk. John Adamian, courant.com, "Seven Concerts You Might Want To See (And Why)," 9 June 2018

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


1842, in the meaning defined above


1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hooky


probably from slang hook, hook it to make off

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Time Traveler for hooky

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The first known use of hooky was in 1608

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Cite this Entry

“Hooky.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hooky. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for hooky


variants: also hookey \ ˈhu̇-​kē \

Kids Definition of hooky

: truant She played hooky from work.

More from Merriam-Webster on hooky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hooky

Comments on hooky

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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