\ ˈshü How to pronounce shoo (audio) \

Definition of shoo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used especially in driving away an unwanted animal


shooed; shooing; shoos

Definition of shoo (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to scare, drive, or send away by or as if by crying shoo shooed us away from the kitchen

Examples of shoo in a Sentence

Verb We tried to help her, but she shooed us away. He shooed the cat out of the house.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The two men often had to walk, lugging their gear across the sprawling city and trying to keep a low profile from the police, who would shoo them back to their hotels. The New York Times, New York Times, "A Year Like No Other," 8 Dec. 2020 Beachgoers are such an unusual sight at public sites that suspicious coast guards often shoo them out of the water. Donna Abdulaziz And Stephen Kalin, WSJ, "Saudi Staycations Lay Bare Obstacles to Kingdom’s Tourism Drive," 8 Oct. 2020 Hadassah is ready to shoo William off when Dede tells her she’s the one who has to leave. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Politician Season 2 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-7," 24 June 2020 Many objected, covering their faces, trying to shoo him away, then cursing at him. Leah Garchik, SFChronicle.com, "In the pandemic, a San Francisco volunteer feels useful again," 16 June 2020 With a gazillion hotel rooms empty, designated apartments empty in New York City, there’s plenty of places to put people in New York, but Governor [Andrew] Cuomo wants to just shoo them off the subways. The Atlantic, "Listen: Things Can Change in an Instant," 5 May 2020 The department has received a number of complaints about golfers hitting balls at courses around the county and ordered the Edgewood Country Club in Commerce Township to shoo golfers off the course on Tuesday. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer extends Michigan's stay home order until May 1," 9 Apr. 2020 The demon opens the door to shoo high-energy (hotter) particles into one room and low-energy (cooler) particles into the other. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Have We Finally Exorcised Maxwell's Demon?," 3 Mar. 2020 And when his cat jumped on his lap during one tasting, his impulse was to shoo it, but participants rolled with it, asking about the cat's name and holding up their cats and dogs for him and others to see. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The show goes on for some food and drink classes, but now online," 6 May 2020

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1798, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shoo


Middle English schowe

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Time Traveler for shoo

Time Traveler

The first known use of shoo was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Shoo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoo. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for shoo

How to pronounce shoo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shoo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used when repeatedly moving your hand away from you in a short motion with your fingers down to tell an animal or person to leave



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

: to tell (an animal or person) to leave


\ ˈshü How to pronounce shoo (audio) \
shooed; shooing

Kids Definition of shoo

: to wave, scare, or send away She shooed us out of the kitchen.
Hint: Shoo is often used as a command. Shoo! Go outside.

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