Definition of alley-oop in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌalē ˈo͞op/


Used to encourage or draw attention to the performance of some physical, especially acrobatic, feat.


(also alley-oop pass) Basketball
A high pass caught by a leaping teammate who tries to dunk the ball before landing.
Example sentences
  • Team USA threw a couple of balls away with ill-conceived alley-oops, missed a few wide-open jumpers and blew a couple of defensive assignments.
  • Her new abilities allow her to play basketball like nobody's business, complete with slam dunks and alley-oops off concrete urban walls.
  • Sadly, the only time I really enjoyed the game experience was when I teamed up with my son to see how many sweet dunks and alley-oops we could pull off.


Early 20th century: perhaps from French allez! 'go on!' (expressing encouragement) + a supposedly French pronunciation of up.

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.