\ 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


We tried to help her, but she shooed us away. He shooed the cat out of the house.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Would have been shoo-in for first catcher selected if not for Rutschman. Bounced back from broken hamate bone in left hand that sidelined him for 10 games. Dennis Waszak Jr., The Denver Post, "Orioles draft Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with No. 1 pick," 4 June 2019 Bradley’s impeccable temple of contemporary French cuisine was the region’s only shoo-in. (allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times), San Diego Union-Tribune, "What Michelin got right — and wrong," 4 June 2019 One of the guys took a stick and started to shoo them away. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "Real-Estate Agents Discover It’s (Literally) a Zoo Out There," 25 July 2018 Women in headscarves protecting holiday hairdos shooed their excited children along. Daniel Lee, WSJ, "Could the Internet Power a Small-Town Renaissance?," 21 Nov. 2018 The Kelleys also typically hired multiple security guards for Gasparilla, and there was a report of one guard using a Taser to shoo away the rabble that day. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "The Bizarre Scandal That Brought Down General David Petraeus," 29 Nov. 2016 He was projected as the winner thanks to some help from Trump: The president shooed his biggest challenger, activist Danny Tarkanian, out of the race. Sean Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Sanford falters in South Carolina after critical tweet from Trump," 13 June 2018 Bouncers shooed out clubgoers, allowing the Capitals and the Cup to linger on stage a little longer. Adam Kilgore, chicagotribune.com, "What happened in Vegas: All night with the Capitals and the Stanley Cup," 8 June 2018 Store staff can be seen shooing away bystanders and telling Mr. Fraser to stop recording. Christina Caron, New York Times, "Violent Arrest at Century 21 Casts Spotlight on Security Guards," 17 May 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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shoo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shoo

Spanish Central: Translation of shoo

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