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used especially in driving away an unwanted animal


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shooed; shooing; shoos

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
Fingers crossed, security won’t shoo sitters off the steps. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Then a brazen party-goer in a cut-off T-shirt and a pair of jean shorts struts up to the big bear, clearly attempting to shoo it away from the party. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 7 Sep. 2023 Shortly before a Monitor correspondent met Bajrang and Mala, police had shooed them away from their spot. Srishti Jaswal, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Sep. 2023 The deputy shoos the tattooed man away, then quickly turns and walks off himself, leaving the handcuffed man defenseless and unattended. Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2023 Harried but good-humored, Sylvie wraps the tap, deposits the woman on a sofa in the cluttered backstage green room, and shoos the chicken in after her. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 5 June 2023 At the height of bad air quality, on Wednesday, city libraries closed, shooing out some of the unhoused New Yorkers who depend on them for shelter. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 8 June 2023 In Las Vegas for Pac-12 media day, Harlan shooed away any notion that Utah could be on the move. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 July 2023 Eventually, the managers called the police, who shooed the striking workers down the street. Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, 18 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shoo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English schowe

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1798, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near shoo

Cite this Entry

“Shoo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to scare, drive, or send away by or as if by crying shoo
shooed everyone out of the kitchen
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