- 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.
- Slang. to walk (often followed by it): Let's hoof it to the supermarket.
- Slang. to dance, especially to tap-dance: He's been hoofing at the Palladium.
- on the hoof, (of livestock) not butchered; live: The city youngsters were seeing lambs on the hoof for the first time.
Origin of hoof
- 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
Word Origin and History for hoof it
Old English hof "hoof," from Proto-Germanic *hofaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian hof, Old Norse hofr, Danish hov, Dutch hoef, German Huf "hof"), from PIE *kop- "to beat, strike" (cf. Sanskrit saphah "hoof"). For spelling, see hood (n.1).
"to walk" (hoof it), first attested 1640s, from hoof (n.); slang meaning "to dance" is 1920, American English (implied in hoofer). Related: Hoofed; hoofing.
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]