[hoop, hoo p]
  1. a circular band or ring of metal, wood, or other stiff material.
  2. such a band for holding together the staves of a cask, tub, etc.
  3. a large ring of iron, wood, plastic, etc., used as a plaything for a child to roll along the ground.
  4. a circular or ringlike object, part, figure, etc.
  5. the shank of a finger ring.
  6. Croquet. a wicket.
  7. a circular band of stiff material used to expand and display a woman's skirt.
  8. hoop skirt.
  9. Basketball Informal.
    1. the metal ring from which the net is suspended; rim.
    2. the metal ring and net taken together; the basket.
    3. the game of basketball.
  10. a decorative band, as around a mug or cup.
  11. hoop iron.
verb (used with object)
  1. to bind or fasten with or as if with a hoop or hoops.
  2. to encircle; surround.

Origin of hoop

1125–75; Middle English hope, hoop, late Old English hōp; cognate with Dutch hoep
Related formshoop·less, adjectivehoop·like, adjectiveun·hooped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hoops

basket, rim, band, circle, loop, circlet, net

Examples from the Web for hoops

Contemporary Examples of hoops

Historical Examples of hoops

  • The Graces were then summoned, and after them the Muses—all in hoops, powder, and paint.

  • I see, the dancing-girl is standing ready; they are handing her some hoops.

  • The parrots only, swinging in their hoops, filled the air with their cries.

    Sielanka: An Idyll

    Henryk Sienkiewicz

  • Do you remember the big blue parrots that swung in hoops from the chandeliers?


    Alice Hegan Rice

  • It used to be used for the ribs of umbrellas and for ladies' hoops.

British Dictionary definitions for hoops


  1. a rigid circular band of metal or wood
  2. something resembling this
    1. a band of iron that holds the staves of a barrel or cask together
    2. (as modifier)hoop iron
  3. a child's toy shaped like a hoop and rolled on the ground or whirled around the body
  4. croquet any of the iron arches through which the ball is driven
    1. a light curved frame to spread out a skirt
    2. (as modifier)a hoop skirt; a hoop petticoat
  5. basketball the round metal frame to which the net is attached to form the basket
  6. a large ring through which performers or animals jump
  7. jewellery
    1. an earring consisting of one or more circles of metal, plastic, etc
    2. the part of a finger ring through which the finger fits
  8. Australian informal a jockey
  9. go through the hoop or be put through the hoop to be subjected to an ordeal
  1. (tr) to surround with or as if with a hoop
Derived Formshooped, adjectivehooplike, adjective

Word Origin for hoop

Old English hōp; related to Dutch hoep, Old Norse hōp bay, Lithuanian kabẽ hook


noun, verb
  1. a variant spelling of whoop
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

Word Origin and History for hoops



late 12c., probably from an unrecorded Old English *hop, from Proto-Germanic *hopa-, a Low German-Frisian word (cf. Old Frisian hop, Middle Dutch and Dutch hoep "hoop," Old Norse hop "a small bay"). As something someone jumps through (on horseback) as a circus trick, by 1793. Figurative use of jump through hoops by 1917. The verb is from mid-15c. Hoop-petticoat is attested from 1711. As a surname, Hooper, literally "maker of hoops" is early 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hoops


see jump through hoops.

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