[ hoh ]
/ hoʊ /


a long-handled implement having a thin, flat blade usually set transversely, used to break up the surface of the ground, destroy weeds, etc.
any of various implements of similar form, as for mixing plaster or mortar.

verb (used with object), hoed, hoe·ing.

to dig, scrape, weed, cultivate, etc., with a hoe.

verb (used without object), hoed, hoe·ing.

to use a hoe.

Nearby words

  1. hodgson's disease,
  2. hodman,
  3. hodograph,
  4. hodometer,
  5. hodoscope,
  6. hoe in,
  7. hoe into,
  8. hoe-cake,
  9. hoecake,
  10. hoedown

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



or hoe

[ hoh ]
/ hoʊ /

noun, plural hos, hoes, ho's. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

a sexually promiscuous woman.
a prostitute; whore.
a woman.

Origin of ho

First recorded in 1965–70; dialectal or Black English pronunciation of whore

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hoes


/ (həʊ) /


Also: ho-ho an imitation or representation of the sound of a deep laugh
an exclamation used to attract attention, announce a destination, etcwhat ho!; land ho!; westward ho!

Word Origin for ho

C13: of imitative origin; compare Old Norse hó, Old French ho! halt!


/ (həʊ) /


US Black slang a derogatory term for a woman

Word Origin for ho

C20: from Black or Southern US pronunciation of whore


the chemical symbol for




abbreviation for

head office
British government Home Office


/ (həʊ) /


any of several kinds of long-handled hand implement equipped with a light blade and used to till the soil, eradicate weeds, etc

verb hoes, hoeing or hoed

to dig, scrape, weed, or till (surface soil) with or as if with a hoe
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 hoes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hoes


The symbol for the elementholmium

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for hoes


The symbol for holmium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with hoes


see tough row to hoe.

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