View synonyms for hook



[ hook ]


  1. a curved or angular piece of metal or other hard substance for catching, pulling, holding, or suspending something.
  2. anything that catches; snare; trap.
  3. something that attracts attention or serves as an enticement:

    The product is good but we need a sales hook to get people to buy it.

  4. something having a sharp curve, bend, or angle at one end, as a mark or symbol.
  5. a sharp curve or angle in the length or course of anything.
  6. a curved arm of land jutting into the water; a curved peninsula:

    the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, situated on a peninsula in upper New York Bay.

  7. a recurved and pointed organ or appendage of an animal or plant.
  8. a small curved catch inserted into a loop to form a clothes fastener.
  9. Sports.
    1. the path described by a ball, as in baseball, bowling, or golf, that curves in a direction opposite to the throwing hand or to the side of the ball from which it was struck.
    2. a ball describing such a path.
  10. Boxing. a short, circular punch delivered with the elbow bent.
  11. Music.
    1. Also called flag, pennant. a stroke or line attached to the stem of eighth notes, sixteenth notes, etc.
    2. an appealing melodic phrase, orchestral ornament, refrain, etc., often important to a popular song's commercial success.
  12. Metalworking. an accidental short bend formed in a piece of bar stock during rolling.
  13. hooks, Slang. hands or fingers:

    Get your hooks off that cake!

  14. Underworld Slang. a pickpocket.
  15. Also called deck hook. Nautical. a triangular plate or knee that binds together the stringers and plating at each end of a vessel.

verb (used with object)

  1. to seize, fasten, suspend from, pierce, or catch hold of and draw with or as if with a hook.
  2. to catch (fish) with a fishhook.
  3. Slang. to steal or seize by stealth.
  4. Informal. to catch or trick by artifice; snare.
  5. (of a bull or other horned animal) to catch on the horns or attack with the horns.
  6. to catch hold of and draw (loops of yarn) through cloth with or as if with a hook.
  7. to make (a rug, garment, etc.) in this fashion.
  8. Sports. to hit or throw (a ball) so that a hook results.
  9. Boxing. to deliver a hook with:

    The champion hooked a right to his opponent's jaw.

  10. Rugby. to push (a ball) backward with the foot in scrummage from the front line.
  11. to make hook-shaped; crook.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become attached or fastened by or as if by a hook.
  2. to curve or bend like a hook.
  3. Sports.
    1. (of a player) to hook the ball.
    2. (of a ball) to describe a hook in course.
  4. Slang. to depart hastily:

    We'd better hook for home.

verb phrase

    1. to fasten with a hook or hooks.
    2. to assemble or connect, as the components of a machine:

      They helped me hook up my new home security system.

    3. to connect to a central source, as of power or water:

      The house hasn't been hooked up to the city's water system yet.

    4. Informal. to join, meet, or become associated with:

      He never had a decent job until he hooked up with this company.

    5. Informal. to have casual sex or a romantic date without a long-term commitment:

      He doesn't know her very well, but he hooked up with her a couple of times.

    6. Slang. to supply something scarce or illicit to: The concert is sold out, but my sister knows a guy in the band, so we’re hoping she can hook us up with some tickets.

      My supply of painkillers is totally dry—do you know somebody who can hook me up?

      The concert is sold out, but my sister knows a guy in the band, so we’re hoping she can hook us up with some tickets.



[ hook ]

verb (used without object)

  1. Slang. to work as a prostitute.


/ hʊk /


  1. a piece of material, usually metal, curved or bent and used to suspend, catch, hold, or pull something
  2. short for fish-hook
  3. a trap or snare
  4. something that attracts or is intended to be an attraction
  5. something resembling a hook in design or use
    1. a sharp bend or angle in a geological formation, esp a river
    2. a sharply curved spit of land
  6. boxing a short swinging blow delivered from the side with the elbow bent
  7. cricket a shot in which the ball is hit square on the leg side with the bat held horizontally
  8. golf a shot that causes the ball to swerve sharply from right to left
  9. surfing the top of a breaking wave
  10. Also calledhookcheck ice hockey the act of hooking an opposing player
  11. music a stroke added to the stem of a written or printed note to indicate time values shorter than a crotchet
  12. a catchy musical phrase in a pop song
  13. another name for a sickle
  14. a nautical word for anchor
  15. by hook or crook or by hook or by crook
    by any means
  16. get the hook slang.
    to be dismissed from employment
  17. hook, line, and sinker informal.

    he fell for it hook, line, and sinker

  18. off the hook
    1. out of danger; free from obligation or guilt
    2. (of a telephone receiver) not on the support, so that incoming calls cannot be received
  19. on one's own hook slang.
    on one's own initiative
  20. on the hook slang.
    1. waiting
    2. in a dangerous or difficult situation
  21. sling one's hook slang.
    to leave


  1. often foll by up to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a hook or hooks
  2. tr to catch (something, such as a fish) on a hook
  3. to curve like or into the shape of a hook
  4. tr (of bulls, elks, etc) to catch or gore with the horns
  5. tr to make (a rug) by hooking yarn through a stiff fabric backing with a special instrument
  6. troften foll bydown to cut (grass or herbage) with a sickle

    to hook down weeds

  7. boxing to hit (an opponent) with a hook
  8. ice hockey to impede (an opposing player) by catching hold of him with the stick
  9. golf to play (a ball) with a hook
  10. rugby to obtain and pass (the ball) backwards from a scrum to a member of one's team, using the feet
  11. cricket to play (a ball) with a hook
  12. informal.
    tr to trick
  13. tr a slang word for steal
  14. hook it slang.
    to run or go quickly away

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Derived Forms

  • ˈhookless, adjective
  • ˈhookˌlike, adjective

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Other Words From

  • hook·less adjective
  • hook·like adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hook1

First recorded before 900; Middle English hoke, Old English hōc; cognate with Dutch hoek “hook, angle, corner”; akin to German Haken, Old Norse haki

Origin of hook2

First recorded in 1955–60; back formation from hooker 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hook1

Old English hōc; related to Middle Dutch hōk, Old Norse haki

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. by hook or by crook, by any means, whether just or unjust, legal or illegal. Also by hook or crook.
  2. get / give the hook, Informal. to receive or subject to a dismissal:

    The rumor is that he got the hook.

  3. hook it, Slang. to run away; depart; flee:

    He hooked it when he saw the truant officer.

  4. hook, line, and sinker, Informal. entirely; completely:

    He fell for the story—hook, line, and sinker.

  5. off the hook,
    1. out of trouble; released from some difficulty:

      This time there was no one around to get him off the hook.

    2. free of obligation:

      Her brother paid all her bills and got her off the hook.

    3. Slang. extremely or shockingly excellent:

      Wow, that song is off the hook!

  6. on one's own hook, Informal. on one's own initiative or responsibility; independently.
  7. on the hook, Slang.
    1. obliged; committed: involved:

      He's already on the hook for $10,000.

    2. subjected to a delaying tactic; waiting:

      We've had him on the hook for two weeks now.

More idioms and phrases containing hook

  • by hook or crook
  • off the hook
  • on one's own account (hook)

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Example Sentences

The package comes with everything you’ll need to hook it up and keep your kitchen clean every night.

Burglar alarms could even be hooked up to phones, he continues.

From Fortune

In a press release Julio D’Arcy, who led the study, said 50 bricks hooked up to a solar panel could provide emergency lighting for 5 hours.

So if you want to make people open the entire post, you need to use the first two lines to write a captivating hook.

If city leaders make a misstep, ratepayers could be on the hook in the future.

“I think for trans men who are dating every time they hook up they have another coming out,” Sandler said.

If the oft-talked-about college “hook-up culture” could be embodied by a place, it would be Shooters.

But Kent will not let us off the familiar horror hook so easily.

They “hook up” in a manner that makes the casual sex of the 1960s seem like an arranged marriage in Oman.

When you met him on Tinder were you initially thinking of this as a hook-up or a relationship?

Only then did I own that by hook or by crook—and mostly by crook, I was forced to suspect—they had purposely given me the slip.

His face was hidden beneath a beard of bristling, bushy red, and he had a sharp hook nose and small, bright eyes.

The sailors tried to catch some with a hook and line, and were fortunate enough to succeed.

The launch was already under way, and young Cargill trying to avoid it better, thrust with his boat-hook at the side of the lock.

It was the merest baby—half-an-ounce, perhaps—and it fell from the hook into the herbage some yards from the stream.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.