- 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
Related Words for hoof itdisco, waltz, rock, samba, tango, sashay, swagger, gambol, strut, trek, run, parade, lead, trudge, hike, saunter, stride, step, race, escort
- 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 for hoof
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.
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]