Definition of hoop in English:

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Pronunciation: /huːp/


1A circular band of metal, wood, or similar material, especially one used for binding the staves of barrels or forming part of a framework.
Example sentences
  • All edges will meet properly and the barrel will hold liquid without any agent other than the hoops which hold the staves together.
  • In the eighteenth century, wooden barrels were assembled out of individual staves and hoops, with no two barrels being identical.
  • She said: ‘The wind was so strong that it blew some of the aluminium hoops out of the framework and bent them double.’
ring, band, circle, circlet, loop, wheel, round, girdle
technical annulus
1.1 (also hoop earring) An earring in the form of a circular band of metal or other material: a pair of plain gold hoops
More example sentences
  • Kara shook her head, the silver hoop earrings she wore jangling merrily.
  • Meyer, a natural showman who sported a silver hoop in his left ear, became a frequent guest on television documentaries.
  • Oversized silver hoops dangled from her ears, glinting softly in the light from the Corvette.
1.2(In the past) a toy in the form of a large circular band of wood, rolled along the ground with a stick.
Example sentences
  • We used to have freedom and play in the fields with traditional toys such as hoops, a top and whip and marbles.
  • He laughed, ‘I would do many things for her, but playing with dolls and hoops is not one of them.’
  • Above the fountain, one can see an eroded relief of a seated girl and a boy standing with a hoop and rod.
1.3 short for hula hoop. spin the hoop around your waist or around your hips
More example sentences
  • They learn to spin the hoop around their knees, to get it back up to their waists, to spin around their chests, necks and above their heads.
  • Spin the hoop around and vigorously shake your hips.
  • But can gyrating a day-glo hoop around the middle really give you a waspish waist?
1.4A large ring for circus performers to jump through.
Example sentences
  • She jumped through the hoop, rolled over and did a back flip.
  • It's amazing how the tiger can jump through flaming hoops, how the bear can ride a motorcycle and how the lion can walk on a tightrope.
  • Sometimes the cats execute jumps, skips, and turns, or leap through flaming hoops, eliciting ooohs and aaahs from the packed circle of onlookers.
1.5 historical A circle of flexible material used for expanding a woman’s petticoat or skirt: a woman in hoops and crinoline
More example sentences
  • Women's underclothes are so much simpler than they used to be - no lacings, no tiny buttons and hooks, no hoops and petticoats.
  • This will add lots of volume to your skirt, without using boned hoops.
  • Such gowns, by the late 1850s, had hoops, wire contraptions which replaced the multitude of petticoats and which caused women's dresses to billow out even further.
1.6chiefly British A metal arch through which balls are hit in croquet.
Example sentences
  • Croquet mallets and hoops wait on the lawn for those who want some pre-lunch exercise, while immaculately attired staff help you choose from the extensive menu of both Malaysian and Western cuisine.
  • As the little ball rolled through the hoop in front of it, Isabel giggled with Christine in delight.
  • Hoops will generally come in sets of 6, being the number on a standard croquet lawn.
1.7The round metal rim from which a basketball net is suspended: by the official rules of the game, a basketball hoop must be 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet off the ground
More example sentences
  • How high is it from the floor to the bottom of the backboard on a regulation basketball hoop?
  • The other good bit of news is that the family that is buying our house does want to keep the basketball hoop in the back yard.
  • But when I got there and saw the basketball hoops, it reminded me of the times when my friends Darlene, Lana and I used to play together.
1.8 (hoops) US informal The game of basketball: Henry’s father played hoops for Kansas
More example sentences
  • Ever tried to play hoops with an underinflated ball?
  • George set up his camera to shoot himself playing hoops outside his school.
  • It's a bit silly to toss off phrases like ‘historic occasion’ when you're opening up a few square yards of painted concrete for a game of hoops.
2A horizontal band of a contrasting colour on a sports shirt or jockey’s cap.
Example sentences
  • ‘We are looking for three men, one of whom was wearing a shirt with dark hoops,’ he said.
  • One sports firm agreed that some numbering could be illegible on certain backgrounds of hoops, bands and colours.
  • Why Celtic chose green-and-white hoops as opposed to stripes nobody seems sure.
2.1Australian informal A jockey.
Example sentences
  • The retiring hoop gave his charge the command at the 400 metre mark and she responded with a sound win by a length.
  • The 34-year-old is supported by his wife and year-old son as well as fellow Queensland hoops.
  • He didn't envy the Derby-winning hoop at Randwick or the rider who rode for a million dollars or who lived in the big house overlooking the ocean.


[with object]
Bind or encircle with or as with hoops: a man was hooping a barrel
More example sentences
  • The children also took part in Victorian pastimes such as Throw the Horseshoe, a coconut shy, a tin can alley, marbles and hoop the duck.
  • For proper placement, hoop and stitch the design before cutting the rectangle.
  • I did all kinds of jobs for myself, from mending a pair of boots to hooping a barrel.



jump through hoops

Perform a difficult and gruelling series of tests at someone else’s request or command: the banks make you beg for a loan and they make you jump through hoops to get it
More example sentences
  • The development of these drugs consists solely of going through the hoops of getting bureaucratic approval to use them!
  • If he had sold the house then they would probably not have to go through the hoops of getting a search warrant.
  • Some orphans wreck their life with heavy use of illicit drugs after going through the hoops of searching for a job in vain.

shoot hoops

US informal Play basketball: he’d rather play golf or shoot hoops than work
More example sentences
  • Young basketball players can shoot hoops to their hearts' content at this year's Yorkshire International Basketball Camp.
  • He took the basketball from the garage and began to shoot hoops.
  • Being home was better than being at school; at home I could mess around in my front yard and shoot hoops.



Example sentences
  • She wore a dark purple crinoline hooped dress, such a strange colour for one so young.
  • And personally, I think her hooped earrings could be bigger.
  • He was attacked because he wore a green and white hooped top with a shamrock.


Late Old English hōp, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoep.

Words that rhyme with hoop

bloop, cock-a-hoop, coop, croup, droop, drupe, dupe, goop, group, Guadeloupe, loop, poop, recoup, roup, scoop, sloop, snoop, soup, stoep, stoop, stoup, stupe, swoop, troop, troupe, whoop

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hoop

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