Idioms

Origin of hook

1
before 900; 1830–40, Americanism for def 36; Middle English hoke (noun and v.), Old English hōc (noun); cognate with Dutch hoek hook, angle, corner; akin to German Haken, Old Norse haki
Related formshook·less, adjectivehook·like, adjective
Can be confusedpenance pennants
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for off the hook

hook

/ (hʊk) /

noun

verb

See also hook-up
Derived Formshookless, adjectivehooklike, adjective

Word Origin for hook

Old English hōc; related to Middle Dutch hōk, Old Norse haki
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

Idioms and Phrases with off the hook (1 of 2)

off the hook


Also, get or let off the hook. Released (or be released) from blame or annoying obligation, as in He was out of town during the robbery so he was off the book, or I don't know how the muggers got off the hook, or Once they found the real culprit, they let Mary off the hook. This idiom alludes to the fish that manages to free itself from the angler's hook and get away. [Mid-1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with off the hook (2 of 2)

hook


In addition to the idioms beginning with hook

  • hook or crook
  • hook up

also see:

  • by hook or crook
  • off the hook
  • on one's own account (hook)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.