\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 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 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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shoo

Spanish Central: Translation of shoo

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