\ˈshü \

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


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 original movie’s two female stars might not be shoo-ins for a sequel, either. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Val Kilmer Returning as Iceman Alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick," 6 June 2018 Romine acceded to Stanton’s wishes and shooed away an offer of compensation. Billy Witz, New York Times, "Aaron Boone’s No. 17? It’s Personal, Not Motivational," 23 Feb. 2018 Dusk is the time for Ghosts in the Graveyard, and for parents to emerge to talk with other neighbors in a collective effort to shoo the kids inside to wind down before bedtime. Lynn Petrak, chicagotribune.com, "Petrak: Dusk in summertime brings anticipation of music, fireworks and a cool breeze," 7 June 2018 The Georgia Department of Natural Resources was called in to help shoo the bear away. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Bear sightings reported near College Park MARTA station, ‘all over the city,’ police say," 4 June 2018 The goose tried to fly away after grounds crew attempted to shoo it, but crashed into a video banner, falling into the lower deck. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers won't drop 'Rally Goose' because of one loss," 3 June 2018 Al’s wife, Dorothea, went on alert, ready to shoo the deer away from eating her flowers and plants. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "First breath, first steps in little-seen wildlife world," 1 July 2018 The secretary exited the restaurant shortly after the demonstrators were shooed out by police, according to the Democratic Socialists. Dennis Romero /, NBC News, "Homeland security chief heckled at Mexican eatery over separation policy," 20 June 2018 The young men from Argentina, who had met on a work-and-travel program in Australia, brought their own wine and snacks to the dining car and were promptly shooed out by the waitress, who then asked if all Americans were that rude. Anton Troianovski, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup fans meet Russians on the world's longest train line," 14 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near shoo







shoofly pie

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Time Traveler for shoo

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

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More Definitions for shoo

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 \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shoo

See words that rhyme with shoo

Spanish Central: Translation of shoo

Comments on shoo

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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