[ 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.
couged itRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
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 śaphas
Related formshoof·i·ness, nounhoof·less, adjectivehoof·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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 Formshoofless, 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.