verb (used without object)
  1. to cry out or shout, especially in disapproval or derision.
  2. to utter the cry characteristic of an owl.
  3. to utter a similar sound.
  4. Chiefly British. to blow a horn or whistle; toot.
verb (used with object)
  1. to assail with shouts of disapproval or derision: The fans hooted the umpire.
  2. to drive out, off, or away by hooting.
  3. to express in hoots: The crowd hooted its disagreement with the speaker.
  1. the cry of an owl.
  2. any similar sound, as an inarticulate shout.
  3. a cry or shout, especially of disapproval or derision.
  4. British. a horn, siren, or whistle, especially a factory whistle.
  5. Informal. the least bit of concern, interest, or thought; trifle: His religion doesn't matter a hoot to me.
  6. Slang. an extremely funny person, situation, or event: Your cousin is such a hoot!
  1. 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. 2018

Related Words for hooting

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

Examples from the Web for hooting

Contemporary Examples of hooting

Historical Examples of hooting

British Dictionary definitions for hooting


  1. the mournful wavering cry of some owls
  2. a similar sound, such as that of a train whistle
  3. a jeer of derision
  4. informal an amusing person or thingthe weekend was a hoot
  5. not give a hoot not to care at all
  1. (often foll by at) to jeer or yell (something) contemptuously (at someone)
  2. (tr) to drive (political speakers, actors on stage, etc) off or away by hooting
  3. (intr) to make a hoot
  4. (intr) British to blow a horn

Word Origin for hoot

C13 hoten, of imitative origin



hoots (huːts)

  1. an exclamation of impatience or dissatisfaction: a supposed Scotticism

Word Origin for hoot

C17: of unknown origin


  1. 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 hooting



"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 hooting


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.