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.
Idioms 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 śaphasRelated formshoof·i·ness, nounhoof·less, adjectivehoof·like, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for hoof itdisco
British Dictionary definitions for hoof it
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
Derived Formshoofless, adjectivehooflike, adjective
(tr) to kick or trample with the hoofs
hoof it slang
- to walk
- to dance
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
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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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.