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See more synonyms for hoe on Thesaurus.com
  1. a long-handled implement having a thin, flat blade usually set transversely, used to break up the surface of the ground, destroy weeds, etc.
  2. any of various implements of similar form, as for mixing plaster or mortar.
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verb (used with object), hoed, hoe·ing.
  1. to dig, scrape, weed, cultivate, etc., with a hoe.
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verb (used without object), hoed, hoe·ing.
  1. to use a hoe.
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Origin of hoe

1325–75; Middle English howe < Old French houe < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch houwe, Old High German houwa mattock; akin to hew
Related formsho·er, nounhoe·like, adjectiveun·hoed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hoeing

unearth, search, shovel, drill, dredge, discover, penetrate, exhume, bulldoze, scoop, sift, burrow, clean, enter, uncover, bore, gouge, harvest, excavate, plow

Examples from the Web for hoeing

Historical Examples of hoeing

  • Of this wood the natives make their crooked spades for hoeing their fields.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • He'd take him back, and put him to hoeing and digging, and "see if he'd step about so smart."

  • Though it prevents my hoeing them, it is of far more worth than my hoeing.

  • After the first hoeing, throw a handful of ashes on each plant.


    Solon Robinson

  • When the old people returned from hoeing and called their child, there was no child to be found.

British Dictionary definitions for hoeing


  1. any of several kinds of long-handled hand implement equipped with a light blade and used to till the soil, eradicate weeds, etc
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verb hoes, hoeing or hoed
  1. to dig, scrape, weed, or till (surface soil) with or as if with a hoe
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Derived Formshoer, nounhoelike, adjective

Word Origin for hoe

C14: via Old French houe from Germanic: compare Old High German houwā, houwan to hew, German Haue hoe
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 hoeing



mid-14c., from Old French houe (12c.), from Frankish *hauwa, from Proto-Germanic *hawwan (cf. Old High German houwa "hoe, mattock, pick-axe," German Haue), from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike" (see hew). The verb is first recorded early 15c. Related: Hoed; hoeing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hoeing


see tough row to hoe.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.