\ ˈhüt How to pronounce hoot (audio) \
hooted; hooting; hoots

Definition of hoot

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to shout or laugh usually derisively
2 : to make the natural throat noise of an owl or a similar cry
3 : to make a loud clamorous mechanical sound

transitive verb

1 : to assail or drive out by hooting hooted down the speaker
2 : to express or utter with hoots hooted their disapproval



Definition of hoot (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a sound of hooting especially : the cry of an owl
2 : a minimum amount or degree : the least bit don't give a hoot
3 : something or someone amusing the play is a real hoot
\ ˈhüt How to pronounce hoot (audio) \
variants: or hoots \ ˈhüts How to pronounce hoots (audio) \

Definition of hoot (Entry 3 of 3)

chiefly Scotland
used to express impatience, dissatisfaction, or objection

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Other Words from hoot


hooty \ ˈhü-​tē How to pronounce hooty (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for hoot

Synonyms: Noun

cry, holler, howl, shout, whoop, yell, yowl

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Examples of hoot in a Sentence


We could hear an owl hooting in the woods. I hooted at the car in front of me. The crowd booed and hooted when it was announced that the show was canceled. The crowd hooted its disapproval. The speaker was hooted off the platform by a small group of protesters.


The announcement was met with hoots of derision. the courtroom erupted in hoots of laughter upon hearing the witness's sarcastic retort
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Abi Muzaale and more than a hundred other fans at the Five and Dime Ale House in Hampden threw their hands in the air, clapped, hooted and hollered as time expired and the 2-0 victory became official. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "Fans in Baltimore, around the world cheer on 'amazingly talented' U.S. Women's team to fourth World Cup victory," 7 July 2019 In December 2018, Desmond, imitating Gwen Stefani, performed at a Brooklyn gay bar in a wig and crop-top as hooting adult men threw dollar bills. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "‘Desmond Is Amazing’ Needs Saving," 11 June 2019 Onlookers laughed, hooted and pressed the record buttons on their cellphone cameras as the 11th NOLA Naked Bike Ride rolled thorough the city’s downtown neighborhoods on Saturday evening (June 8). Doug Maccash, nola.com, "Did the Naked Bike Ride dare to be even barer in 2019?," 9 June 2019 His appointment as manager of the hallowed Yankees was hooted and hollered down. Bob Ryan, BostonGlobe.com, "In pro sports, how much do coaches really matter?," 8 June 2019 Clearly this is a story about a radical idea which deserved to be hooted down. James Freeman, WSJ, "When Politicians ‘Pounce’," 13 Feb. 2019 Everyone seems to be having a grand old time, from the two distinguished gents in the corner talking business to the roaring group in the center of the room, hooting about the joys of Nutella. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Talulla in Huron Village, where white tablecloths don’t mean you can’t have fun," 10 May 2018 Zhou Bao laughed and hooted himself, though not quite as fluently as Ta Shu, who had practiced a lot during his hours at the Beijing Zoo. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 2018 Then one of the older ones hooted, a rising tone that sounded not quite human, but not quite animal either. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Monkeys, on the other hand, are stuck with an inborn set of hoots and screams. Quanta Magazine, "The Beasts That Keep the Beat," 22 Mar. 2016 Regardless, riders will nab a gentle incline, followed by a flowing downhill that is sure to leave a few hoots and hollers in the wind. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 In Washington, there are scribes and there are gossip mongers—those who care too much about continued access to their bold-faced sources, and those who don’t seem to give a hoot. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is There a Right Way to Cover the Trump White House?," 6 June 2019 Helen and Rex erupted in a hoot of laughter that sent them to the floor. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Am I Not Your Animal" by Matt Jones," 2 June 2018 Then a last long hoot of the whistles sent the boats on their own toward the beach, which was still invisible. Washington Post, "AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, reporter lands on Attu Island," 29 May 2018 Cathy Crockford and colleagues found that pant-hoots from different communities within Taï Forest, Côte d’Ivoire, also sound distinct. Michael Wilson, Smithsonian, "What Can Chimpanzee Calls Tell Us About the Origins of Human Language?," 10 May 2018 Kennedy attempted a half-dozen or so half courts shots as the team was wrapping up drills, to the hoots and hollers of his players. Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, "Aggies keeping it loose with fresh start at hand," 15 Mar. 2018 The supporting players are even better; the veteran Barry infuses his stern but loving character with genuine gravitas, Beach is stolid as the parole officer who treats his ex-cons fairly, and Kay is a hoot as Sam's reluctant accomplice. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'No Postage Necessary': Film Review," 4 July 2018

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1540, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hoot


Middle English houten, of imitative origin


origin unknown

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Statistics for hoot

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hoot

The first known use of hoot was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for hoot



English Language Learners Definition of hoot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of an owl : to make a hoot
of a horn : to make a loud sound
British : to cause (a horn) to hoot



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

: the loud, deep sound made by an owl also : a similar loud, deep sound
: a loud laugh or call made by a person
informal : an amusing person or thing


\ ˈhüt How to pronounce hoot (audio) \
hooted; hooting

Kids Definition of hoot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to utter a loud shout or laugh … Henry hooted as Scooter sheepishly untangled himself from his bicycle.— Beverly Cleary, Henry Huggins
2 : to make the noise of an owl or a similar cry
3 : to express by hoots The crowd hooted disapproval.



Kids Definition of hoot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the sound made by an owl
2 : a loud laugh or shout
3 : the least bit She doesn't care a hoot about sports.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hoot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hoot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hoot

Spanish Central: Translation of hoot

Nglish: Translation of hoot for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hoot

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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