\ 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 One of the speakers recalled when Vasquez, as a vicar, was asked by church members to shoo away a man outside the church who was viewed as a vagrant. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "‘My last Christmas’ — San Antonio poet-turned-pastor faces death with grace," 24 Dec. 2019 More Stories Kessler, of course, just shoos him out and shrugs it off. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Cat With a Campus Wrapped Around His Paw," 27 Sep. 2019 Physicians used what is called a reduction maneuver to guide the patella back into place, and Mahomes was helped to his feet and shooed away to a waiting cart. BostonGlobe.com, "Mahomes had an MRI Friday that showed the ligaments were intact, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team was still sorting through the results and putting together a timetable for his return.," 19 Oct. 2019 Physicians used what is called a reduction maneuver to guide the patella back into place, and Mahomes was helped to his feet and shooed away a waiting cart. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Source: Chiefs QB Mahomes expected to miss 4-6 weeks," 18 Oct. 2019 The president shooed the scared animal away by splashing water with a paddle. Washington Post, "Jimmy Carter, a record-setting former president, turns 95," 30 Sep. 2019 De Jager went to join a bomb squad group hug after the Italy win at Shizuoka Stadium on Friday night and was shooed away by veteran utility back and senior bomb squad member Frans Steyn. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Springboks set ‘bomb squad’ on Canada at RWC," 6 Oct. 2019 That should be plenty for Taggart to shoo away the circling vultures for at least another season. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Sadly, an FSU game vs. mundane Syracuse could determine Willie Taggart’s future | Commentary," 23 Oct. 2019 One museum-goer reported standing in line for more an hour, and then having less than 60 seconds in front of the painting before being shooed along. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Mona Lisa's New Location Leads to Hours-Long Waits at the Louvre," 15 Aug. 2019

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.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoo. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shoo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shoo

Spanish Central: Translation of shoo

Comments on shoo

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