[ hoo f, hoof ]
/ hʊf, huf /
noun, plural hoofs or hooves for 1, 2, 4; hoof for 3.
the horny covering protecting the ends of the digits or encasing the foot in certain animals, as the ox and horse.
the entire foot of a horse, donkey, etc.
Older Use. a hoofed animal, especially one of a herd.
Informal. the human foot.
verb (used with object)
Slang. to walk (often followed by it): Let's hoof it to the supermarket.
verb (used without object)
Slang. to dance, especially to tap-dance: He's been hoofing at the Palladium.
Words nearby hoof
Idioms for hoof plural hoof.
on the hoof, (of livestock) not butchered; live: The city youngsters were seeing lambs on the hoof for the first time.
Origin of hoof
before 1000; Middle English (noun); Old English hōf; cognate with Old Frisian hōf, Dutch hoef, German Huf, Old Norse hōfr; compare Sanskrit śaphas
OTHER WORDS FROM hoofhoof·i·ness, nounhoof·less, adjectivehoof·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for hoof it
/ (huːf) /
noun plural hooves (huːvz) or hoofs
- the horny covering of the end of the foot in the horse, deer, and all other ungulate mammals
- (in combination)a hoofbeat Related adjective: ungular
the foot of an ungulate mammal
a hoofed animal
facetious a person's foot
on the hoof
- (of livestock) alive
- in an impromptu mannerhe did his thinking on the hoof
(tr) to kick or trample with the hoofs
hoof it slang
- to walk
- to dance
Derived forms of hoofhoofless, adjectivehooflike, adjective
Word Origin for hoof
Old English hōf; related to Old Norse hōfr, Old High German huof (German Huf), Sanskrit saphás
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
Idioms and Phrases with hoof it
Go on foot, as in The car's being repaired—we'll have to hoof it. [First half of 1600s]
Dance, as in He was always a good dancer, and he's still able to hoof it. [Slang; 1920s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.