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Origin of huzzah

1565–75; variant of earlier hussa, hissa sailors' cry; see hoise


un·huz·zahed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does huzzah!

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

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

Huzzah is sometimes spelled huzza. Similar and related words are hurrah, hoorah, hooray, and hurray (all of which probably derive from or were influenced by huzzah). All of these words are used in the same way—as a celebratory exclamation (something to shout in celebration).

Huzzah started as something to shout out loud, but today it’s probably pretty rare for people to literally shout “Huzzah!” It sounds very old-timey—perhaps even more so than hurrah—and people are more into yelling woo! and woo-hoo! But huzzah is still 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 huzzah for followed by that thing, as in Huzzah for three-day weekends!

Huzzah can be used as a verb meaning to shout huzzah.

It can also be used to refer to a cheer of huzzah (as in a big huzzah from the crowd) or to an instance of praise (as in You got quite the huzzah from the boss today).

Example: Huzzah! The package I ordered is here!

Where does huzzah come from?

The first records of huzzah come from the late 1500s. It 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. The first recorded uses of terms like hurrah, hooray, and hurray 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 huzzah. Today, huzzah is used in the same way as hooray and hurrah.

Huzzah 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 Huzzah for you, graduate! 

Huzzah and hurrah are very similar, but each is used in a way that the other is not. Hurrah can refer to commotion or fanfare (as in There was much hurrah following the announcement), or a showy spectacle or celebration (as in We’ll have a big hurrah to celebrate). Huzzah isn’t typically used in these ways, but it does sometimes refer to praise or applause, as in The review was a major huzzah for the young artist. 

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

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to huzzah?

  • huzza (alternate spelling)
  • unhazzahed (adjective)

What are some synonyms for huzzah?

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


How is huzzah used in real life?

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



Try using huzzah!

Is Huzzah used correctly in the following passage?

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

How to use huzzah in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for huzzah

/ (həˈzɑː) /

interjection, noun, verb
an archaic word for hurrah

Word Origin for huzzah

C16: of unknown origin
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