Definition of hoot in English:

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Pronunciation: /ho͞ot/


1A deep or medium-pitched musical sound, often wavering or interrupted, that is the typical call of many kinds of owl.
Example sentences
  • Various yelps, hoots, screams, squawks, and other vocalizations are used by many species of primates and birds to herald the approach of predators to relatives and other members of the same species.
  • They live and travel in small groups, communicating and expressing their moods with a variety of hoots, grunts, roars, and screams.
  • Silent at sea, these birds are the nosiest of the Auklets when in the breeding colonies, vocalizing with groans, low hoots, grunts, and barking calls.
screech, shriek, call, cry
1.1A raucous sound made by a horn, siren, or steam whistle.
Example sentences
  • There was the sound of thunder and of game shooting and the hoot and whistle of steam trains.
  • The song can sound like hoots and whistles, in a repeating pattern similar to that of a mockingbird or thrasher.
  • You're alerted to this fact by any one of a number of beeps, hoots and whistles, or by the more discreet vibrating option.
1.2A shout expressing scorn or disapproval: there were hoots of derision
More example sentences
  • There were hoots of mock derision and cries of joy in the Kobe Wing Stadium last night.
  • From now on, any government urging military action for moral purpose will face hoots of derision and howls of scepticism.
  • And on those rare occasions when she attempts a one-liner, it is met with hoots of derision.
shout, yell, cry, snort, howl, shriek, whoop, whistle;
boo, hiss, jeer, catcall
1.3A short outburst of laughter: the audience broke into hoots of laughter
More example sentences
  • ‘The personal shoppers were fluttering around outside, petrified there would be some big debacle, but when she came out she was in hoots of laughter,’ says Gray.
  • Every lesson was like Russian roulette as students gingerly placed their bottoms onto their seats in case it finally gave up the ghost and left them sprawling on the floor to hoots of laughter.
  • There's a silence that I fill with hoots of laughter.
1.4 (a hoot) informal An amusing situation or person: your mom’s a real hoot
More example sentences
  • The LSO / Michael Tilson Thomas version was a hoot and full of musical treasures.
  • There isn't much comedy in the film, unless you consider an actor walking around with a prosthetic penis a hoot.
  • While Grease doesn't rank as an all time favorite in the musical genre, it is a hoot.
good time, scream, laugh, blast, riot, giggle, barrel of laughs
dated caution


[no object]
1(Of an owl) utter a hoot.
Example sentences
  • Crickets chirped, owls hooted, and cicadas caterwauled in screechy harmony.
  • What I assumed were owls hooting through the trees turned out to be wolves.
  • The odd flying fox glided over the valley and owls hooted in the distance.
screech, shriek, cry, call
1.1(Of a person) make loud sounds of scorn, disapproval, or merriment: she began to hoot with laughter
More example sentences
  • The whole group hooted and cheered loudly, the guys were whooping at Cindy.
  • Her friends started clapping loudly, hooting and hollering as Scarlet just blushed.
  • We're shrieking and yelling and hooting and clapping and stomping - telling this man just how much we love him.
shout, yell, cry, howl, shriek, whistle;
boo, hiss, jeer, heckle, catcall
1.2 [with object] (hoot something down) Express loud scornful disapproval of something: his questions were hooted down or answered obscenely
More example sentences
  • Somebody came up with this at a brainstorming meeting and nobody else had the good sense to hoot it down then.
  • Some thirty years ago when I suggested at Boeing that software should be distributed in source-code form, the idea was hooted down and rejected out of hand.
  • Lots of advertisers, I predict, will buy time and space from YouTube, only to have users hoot it down.
1.3(With reference to a horn, siren, etc.) make or cause to make a hoot.
Example sentences
  • At Gore's residence in Washington DC, car horns hooted, signalling their approval of the decision as the vice president heard the news with his wife, Tipper.
  • Horns hooting and cheers of joy filled the air in the popular fishing harbour, which has really been put on the map because of the Diva's success.
  • A very large number of followers attended both games and followed the winners in both games with horns hooting to Bunclody.


not care (or give) a hoot (or two hoots)

informal Not care at all.
Example sentences
  • I don't give two hoots what colour the British are, I care only that they subscribe to British values.
  • Ninety percent of people here don't give two hoots.
  • There are some people who don't give two hoots about the welfare of wildlife around the country.
care, be concerned, mind, be interested, be bothered, trouble oneself about
informal give a damn


Middle English (in the sense 'make sounds of derision'): perhaps imitative.

Words that rhyme with hoot

acute, argute, astute, beaut, Beirut, boot, bruit, brut, brute, Bute, butte, Canute, cheroot, chute, commute, compute, confute, coot, cute, depute, dilute, dispute, flute, galoot, impute, jute, loot, lute, minute, moot, newt, outshoot, permute, pollute, pursuit, recruit, refute, repute, route, salute, Salyut, scoot, shoot, Shute, sloot, snoot, subacute, suit, telecommute, Tonton Macoute, toot, transmute, undershoot, uproot, Ute, volute

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hoot

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