interjection Nautical.

(used as a call to hail another ship, attract attention, etc.)

Origin of ahoy

1745–55; variant of hoy2. Cf. aha, ahem
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ahoy

signal, cry, calling, alarm, hail, yawp, whoop, shout, command, holler, yell, scream

Examples from the Web for ahoy

Historical Examples of ahoy

  • "Ahoy there, aboard the freighter," sounded a stern, determined voice.

    The Space Rover

    Edwin K. Sloat

  • In answer to the summons of the boatswain, "All hands, attend lecture, ahoy!"

    Down the Rhine

    Oliver Optic

  • The second mate then went forwards, shouting, “All hands, ahoy!”

    The White Squall

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • “Shipmate, ahoy,” he exclaimed in a suppressed tone as he passed.

  • As Bigley was about to give the word to let go once more there came a loud “Ahoy!”

    Devon Boys

    George Manville Fenn

British Dictionary definitions for ahoy



nautical a hail used to call a ship or to attract attention
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ahoy

1751, from a + hoy, a nautical call used in hauling. The original form of the greeting seems to have been ho, the ship ahoy!

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper