There are 2 main definitions of boo in English:

Share this entry

boo 1

Syllabification: boo


1Said suddenly to surprise someone: “Boo!” she cried, jumping up to frighten him
[Probably an alteration of earlier bo, used in the same way since late Middle English]
More example sentences
  • Behind the church, right at the back of the graveyard (a graveyard I used to have to walk past in the dark with a sadistic little sister who thought it funny to say boo) is a tiny ruin.
  • I kept looking at them, waiting for a face to appear, to say hi or boo.
  • Ethan looked kind of nervous, I had the sudden urge to jump up and scream boo just to see what he'd do.
2Said to show disapproval or contempt, especially at a performance or athletic contest.
Example sentences
  • Unfortunately, one of the curtain rod kits I'd bought didn't have the mounting hardware inside, so I'm going to have to get another one - boo!
  • I have to get the whole broken on-off button on my cell phone seen to or else buy a new phone - boo!
  • Bianca gets every day except Tuesday off coz she's doing her IT subjects via distance. boo!


Back to top  
An utterance of “boo” to show disapproval or contempt: the audience greeted this comment with boos and hisses
More example sentences
  • As Moore shouted over boos and cheers, most of the nominees who had just given him a standing ovation sat silent.
  • As the march swung past Number 10 there was a cacophony of whistles, boos, jeers and insults.
  • Shouts, boos, whistles from the crowd sheltering in the marquees.

verb (boos, booing, booed)

Back to top  
Say “boo” to show disapproval or contempt: [no object]: they booed and hissed when he stepped on stage [with object]: I was practically booed off the stage for talking about cyberpunk
More example sentences
  • Angry crowds attended public meetings organised by the Commission, jeering and booing the speakers.
  • Before he could finish, the crowd showed their disapproval by booing him off the stage.
  • Raymond actually booed when they disappeared off the right edge of the monitor.
jeer, heckle, catcall, hiss, hector


say boo
[with negative] Say anything at all; utter a sound: Walter looked at us, but he didn’t say boo
More example sentences
  • Now he knows that all he has to do is pop up and say boo once in a while and we'll go all to pieces.
  • They just go out and do their job, don't say boo and everyone gets the point.
  • I have to go back to work tomorrow (this is where I won't say boo!)
wouldn't say boo to a goose
British Used to emphasize that someone is very shy or reticent.
Example sentences
  • My youngest son wouldn't say boo to a goose and he was absolutely petrified.
  • It turns out that the lad who looks like a no-nonsense squaddie on the park wouldn't say boo to a goose outwith those environs.
  • ‘He was quite a quiet guy who kept himself to himself - you always got the impression he wouldn't say boo to a goose,’ said Mr Hemmings.


Early 19th century (sense 2 of the exclamation): imitative of the lowing of oxen. The sound was considered to be derisive; compare with hiss and hoot.

Words that rhyme with boo

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo
Definition of boo in:
Share this entry

There are 2 main definitions of boo in English:

Share this entry
boo 2 Syllabification: boo


US informal
A person’s boyfriend or girlfriend.
Example sentences
  • Some things I view as sacred and extremely personal that I wouldn't share… these include times shared with my boo.
  • ‘I'm not doubting what happened, boo,’ Shayna began sweetly.
  • She has also made solo inroads, doing that song about being with her boo.


1980s: origin uncertain; probably an alteration of French beau 'boyfriend, male admirer'.

Definition of boo in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources