interjection, noun, verb
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Words nearby hooray
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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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.
Hooray! Surprise visit from my parents! #IMissedThem
— Ariel Cuellar (@_mrscuellar) January 28, 2017
Hooray for finally getting past a difficult edit!!!!
— Angela💘🍪😈 (@Freepaperclips) May 12, 2020
Following the Kendrick Lamar announcement, the Pulitzer board was immediately hoorayed for its “relevance,” as if relevance itself is a virtue. Perhaps it is. But calling him simply a relevant choice comes too close to diminishing his deep expertise. https://t.co/d6dn56DLL5
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) April 18, 2018
Try using hooray!
Is hooray used correctly in the following passage?
Hooray! Only three more days until it’s my birthday!
Example sentences from the Web for hooray
Wrong wrong wrong, I report happily (and hooray for my Maryland, and the other states approving same-sex marriage).Various Thoughts: Demography, Rove, Morris, the Great Nate, &c.|Michael Tomasky|November 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Well, he may be on TBS now, but NBC is still in his crosshairs…and hooray for that!
Still, let's leave it like this: Hooray for you, Julianne Moore!
The songs, which have creaky titles like “All that Razz” and “Hooray for What's-not-good,” are belted out with pitchy gusto.
"Hooray," yelled Mr. Gibney, and dashed at the post which held Captain Scraggs prisoner.Captain Scraggs|Peter B. Kyne
Upon hearing his sentence he lifted up his voice and shouted, "Hooray!"The Log of a Sea-Waif|Frank T. Bullen
Advancing in extended order, about twenty of the enemy were challenged, and they all cheered, shouting "Hooray."
Instead of the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep, was the rattle of the drum and the "hooray" of the volunteers.An Artilleryman's Diary|Jenkin Lloyd Jones
Then all the courtiers round about murmured their congratulations, the audience that filled the theatre shouted 'Hooray!'Yellow-Cap and Other Fairy-Stories For Children|Julian Hawthorne