/ (huːˈreɪ) /
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interjection, noun, verb
a variant of hurrah
Also: hooroo (huːˈruː) Australian and NZ goodbye; cheerio
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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


What does hooray mean?

Hooray is a word to shout when you want to celebrate something.

Hooray is an interjection, meaning it’s a term used to express emotion, often outside of a sentence.

Hooray is sometimes spelled hurray. Both words are variants of the word hurrah (which can also be spelled hoorah). All of these words are used in the same way—as a celebratory exclamation (something to shout in celebration).

Hooray started as something to shout out loud, but today it’s probably pretty rare for people to literally shout “Hooray!” (It sounds a bit old-timey, and people are more into yelling woo! and woo-hoo!) But hooray is still often used as an interjection in informal, conversational writing, such as social media posts and texts. To show appreciation for something in particular, you might write hooray for followed by that thing, as in Hooray for three-day weekends!

Less commonly, hooray can be used as a verb meaning to shout hooray or to celebrate, as in They were hoorayed for their bravery. 

In Australia and New Zealand, hooray is an informal way of saying goodbye.

Example: Oh, hooray! The package I ordered is here!

Where does hooray come from?

The first recorded uses of terms like hooray, hurray, and hurrah come from the 1700s and 1800s. Hooray and hurray are thought to be variants of hurrah, which comes from the similar German term hurra. All of these may or may not have been based on or influenced by the earlier and very similar huzzah. Huzzah is thought to come from a word that sailors used to shout in celebration. It may derive from the word hoise, meaning “to hoist”—which they’d shout when hoisting (raising) something, like the sails of the ship. Today, huzzah is used in the same way as hooray and hurrah.

Hooray is commonly associated with the popular cheer hip, hip, hooray, in which cheerleaders shout, “hip, hip,” and the crowd yells, “hooray!” (One of the senses of the word hip is a cheer or a signal to start a cheer.) But hooray can be used in any situation in which you want to shout out in celebration. When it’s followed by for, it’s meant to celebrate or show appreciation for whatever’s next, as in Hooray for you for graduating!

Next time you woo-hoo, throw in a hooray, and maybe a huzzah.

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What are some other forms related to hooray?

  • hurray (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for hooray?

What are some words that often get used in discussing hooray?


How is hooray used in real life?

Hooray is a word for shouting that’s usually just written with an exclamation point. It’s always used informally.



Try using hooray!

Is hooray used correctly in the following passage?

Hooray! Only three more days until it’s my birthday!

How to use hooray in a sentence