noun, often attributive
\ ˈhüp How to pronounce hoop (audio) also ˈhu̇p How to pronounce hoop (audio) \

Definition of hoop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a circular strip used especially for holding together the staves of containers or as a plaything
2a : a circular figure or object : ring
b : the rim of a basketball goal broadly : the entire goal
3 : a circle or series of circles of flexible material used to expand a woman's skirt
4 : basketball usually used in plural


hooped; hooping; hoops

Definition of hoop (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to bind or fasten with or as if with a hoop

Other Words from hoop


hooplike \ ˈhüp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce hoop (audio) also  ˈhu̇p \ adjective


hooper noun

Synonyms for hoop

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of hoop in a Sentence

Noun made Christmas garlands from hoops of red and green construction paper
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an earlier video, Brown can be seen playing basketball and helping people dunk by literally lifting them off the ground and up to the hoop. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 28 Apr. 2022 Their high-energy castmate Bruce Brown was left largely open, and made a few threes and drives to the hoop, picking up the scoring slack from the superstars. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2022 The hula hoop contest, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 concerns, will be back, along with a DJ and three live bands on stages set throughout the event area. Joe Tash, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2022 After producer Lorne Michaels put them through considerable hoop-jumping, that eventually led to the debut of their eponymous show on HBO and CBC in 1989. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 30 Apr. 2022 The rows of racks start under one hoop with long, size zero dresses, and stretch beyond the center circle to short, size 26. Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 28 Apr. 2022 When the Soldiers began to key on Titus, post players Hanif James (nine points) and Akais Giplaye (seven points) were waiting under the hoop. Wright Wilson, Detroit Free Press, 25 Mar. 2022 In one stretch James fell and slid on his back while running back on defense in the third quarter, the Clippers quickly used their numbers advantage to find Ivica Zubac all alone under the hoop for a dunk. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2022 Jones was renowned for using the backboard when most players were shooting directly at the hoop. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Children start hoop dancing at very young ages, such as those who were under 5 and participated in the grand entry of the competition. Angela Cordoba Perez, The Arizona Republic, 28 Mar. 2022 Garrett has been known to still hoop from time to time, and last June a highlight reel of one of his summer pickup games went viral with Garrett showing off his dunking abilities. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 18 Feb. 2022 In the traditional game, celebrities from film, television and music – as well as NBA legends and WNBA players – hoop it up. cleveland, 17 Feb. 2022 All-girls leagues weren’t popular yet, but Quinn relished any chance to hoop. Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 Melvin Booker, in his day, had been the Big Eight player of the year at Missouri and was good enough to hoop professionally in the NBA and overseas. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 15 May 2021 Wayne Tinkle's children can hoop Tinkle's daughter Joslyn went to three Sweet 16s while playing basketball at Stanford and is currently playing professionally in Australia. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Mar. 2021 Find inspiration in the monthly patterns that appear in Country Living and download our free templates—or hoop it up with your own starter kit. Document your family history. Country Living Staff, Country Living, 11 June 2020 Being here means that another college hoops season is about to go full swing. Tom Noie, Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hoop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hoop


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hoop


Middle English, from Old English hōp; akin to Middle Dutch hoep ring, hoop

Buying Guide

Learn the history of hula hoops from our Reviews team at Britannica.

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Time Traveler for hoop

Time Traveler

The first known use of hoop was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near hoop



hoop ash

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Statistics for hoop

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hoop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoop. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hoop


\ ˈhu̇p How to pronounce hoop (audio) , ˈhüp \

Kids Definition of hoop

1 : a circular figure or object an embroidery hoop
2 : a circular band used for holding together the strips that make up the sides of a barrel or tub
3 : a circle or series of circles of flexible material (as wire) used for holding a woman's skirt out from the body

More from Merriam-Webster on hoop

Nglish: Translation of hoop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hoop for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hoop


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