[ huhl-uh-buh-loo ]
/ ˈhʌl ə bəˌlu /
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noun, plural hul·la·ba·loos.
a clamorous noise or disturbance; uproar.
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of hullabaloo

1750–60; apparently variant of haloobaloo, rhyming compound based on Scots baloo lullaby

Words nearby hullabaloo

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does hullabaloo mean?

A hullabaloo is an uproar or a noisy commotion, especially the sound of a bunch of people shouting in protest about something.

A hullabaloo doesn’t have to be literally noisy—the word can also be used to refer to all the talk and commentary surrounding a controversy, such as on social media. Because hullabaloo sounds a little silly, it’s often used to be funny.

Example: There was a big hullabaloo at the parents’ meeting when it was announced that brownies wouldn’t be allowed at the bake sale.

Where does hullabaloo come from?

The first records of hullabaloo come from the mid-1700s. It may come from a rhyming combination of the interjection halloo and the Scots word baloo, meaning “lullaby.”

A hullabaloo is a far cry from a soothing lullaby, though. Typically, the word refers to a rowdy, raucous ruckus—picture a bunch of people shouting at a public meeting with someone banging a gavel trying to get them to quiet down. But the noise doesn’t have to be literal. Hullabaloo can also refer collectively to all the comments and conflicting opinions about a controversial topic, especially in a context in which those comments can be observed by a lot of people, such as in the media or on social networks. There are a lot of ways to say the same thing, like hubbub, uproar, clamor, furor, ruckus, and the just-as-fun-to-say brouhaha.

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What are some synonyms for hullabaloo?

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


How is hullabaloo used in real life?

Hullabaloo is commonly used to refer to an uproar about something, whether literally loud or just involving a lot of people’s opinions.



Try using hullabaloo!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to describe a hullabaloo?

A. loud
B. noisy
C. calm
D. indignant

How to use hullabaloo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hullabaloo



/ (ˌhʌləbəˈluː) /

noun plural -loos
loud confused noise, esp of protest; commotion

Word Origin for hullabaloo

C18: perhaps from interjection hallo + Scottish baloo lullaby
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