verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)



    not give/care a hoot, Informal. to not care at all: I don't give a hoot.Also not give/care two hoots.

Origin of hoot

1150–1200; Middle English hoten, huten, houten (verb); perhaps imitative
Related formshoot·ing·ly, adverbun·hoot·ed, adjective

Synonyms for hoot

1, 5. jeer, boo, hiss. 5. razz.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hooted

jeer, boo, whistle, hiss, heckle, scream, howl, scorn, razz, catcall

Examples from the Web for hooted

Contemporary Examples of hooted

  • Anything that smacked of dissent from the war mania was hooted out of town.

    The Daily Beast logo
    In Praise of Barbara Lee

    Michael Tomasky

    May 24, 2013

  • As a candidate, Washington was hooted down the steps of a Roman Catholic church.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rahm and Race in Chicago

    Dirk Johnson

    January 4, 2011

Historical Examples of hooted

  • They have not as much as had a birching; and I say that the college masters ought to be hooted.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • He pictured to himself the whole scene; he saw her pursued, hooted at, reviled.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • At first he saw only a crowd of men and boys, who jeered and hooted.

  • When its way was blocked, it hooted impatiently for passage.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • The ambulance ran past and hooted at a cluster of police trucks.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

British Dictionary definitions for hooted




the mournful wavering cry of some owls
a similar sound, such as that of a train whistle
a jeer of derision
informal an amusing person or thingthe weekend was a hoot
not give a hoot not to care at all


(often foll by at) to jeer or yell (something) contemptuously (at someone)
(tr) to drive (political speakers, actors on stage, etc) off or away by hooting
(intr) to make a hoot
(intr) British to blow a horn

Word Origin for hoot

C13 hoten, of imitative origin



hoots (huːts)


an exclamation of impatience or dissatisfaction: a supposed Scotticism

Word Origin for hoot

C17: of unknown origin




Australian and NZ a slang word for money

Word Origin for hoot

from Māori utu price
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 hooted



"to call or shout in disapproval or scorn," c.1600, probably related to or from huten, "to shout, call out" (c.1200), probably ultimately imitative. First used of bird cries, especially that of the owl, mid-15c. Related: Hooted; hooting. As a noun from mid-15c. Meaning "a laugh, something funny" is first recorded 1942. Slang sense of "smallest amount or particle" (The hoot you don't give when you don't care) is from 1891.

"A dod blasted ole fool!" answered the captain, who, till now, had been merely an amused on-looker. "Ye know all this rumpus wont do nobuddy a hoot o' good--not a hoot." ["Alonge Traverse Shores," Traverse City, Michigan, 1891]

Hooter in the same sense is from 1839.

HOOTER. Probably a corruption of iota. Common in New York in such phrases as "I don't care a hooter for him." "This note ain't worth a hooter." [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1877]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hooted


see not give a damn (hoot).

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