jump through hoops


Do just about anything to please someone. For example, The boss expects the entire staff to jump through hoops for him, or This violinist will jump through hoops for the conductor. This metaphoric expression alludes to trained circus animals jumping through hoops. [Early 1900s]

Words Nearby jump through hoops

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

How to use jump through hoops in a sentence

  • We have to jump through hoops to do things that should be simple—filing taxes, being respected as a family.

  • Harvey D. and Ella and even grandfather—they all jump through hoops for him, the cowards!

    The Wrong Twin | Harry Leon Wilson
  • I don't care so much for the circus, though I should like to see the man stand up on a horse and jump through hoops.

  • For this reason I have not only taught him to dance, but also to jump through hoops and through frames covered with paper.

    Pinocchio | C. Collodi
  • Using their disclosure as a prod I could have made him jump through hoops.

    The Misplaced Battleship | Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
  • And the populace forgets the thrill of the spectacle of the man in the lions' cage making wild beasts jump through hoops of fire.

    The Challenge of the Dead | Stephen Graham