- the path described by a ball, as in baseball, bowling, or golf, that curves in a direction opposite to the throwing hand or to the side of the ball from which it was struck.
- a ball describing such a path.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- (of a player) to hook the ball.
- (of a ball) to describe a hook in course.
- to fasten with a hook or hooks.
- to assemble or connect, as the components of a machine: to hook up a stereo system.
- to connect to a central source, as of power or water: The house hasn't been hooked up to the city's water system yet.
- Informal.to join, meet, or become associated with: He never had a decent job until he hooked up with this company.
- Informal.to have casual sex or a romantic date without a long-term commitment: He doesn't know her very well, but he hooked up with her a couple of times.
- out of trouble; released from some difficulty: This time there was no one around to get him off the hook.
- free of obligation: Her brother paid all her bills and got her off the hook.
- Slang.extremely or shockingly excellent: Wow, that song is off the hook!
- obliged; committed; involved: He's already on the hook for $10,000.
- subjected to a delaying tactic; waiting: We've had him on the hook for two weeks now.
Origin of hook1
- a sharp bend or angle in a geological formation, esp a river
- a sharply curved spit of land
- slangout of danger; free from obligation or guilt
- (of a telephone receiver) not on the support, so that incoming calls cannot be received
- in a dangerous or difficult situation
Word Origin for hook
Old English hoc "hook, angle," perhaps related to Old English haca "bolt," from Proto-Germanic *hokaz/*hakan- (cf. Old Frisian hok, Middle Dutch hoek, Dutch haak, German Haken "hook"), from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth" (cf. Russian kogot "claw"). For spelling, see hood (n.1).
Boxing sense of "short, swinging blow with the elbow bent" is from 1898. Figurative sense was in Middle English (see hooker). By hook or by crook (late 14c.) probably alludes to tools of professional thieves. Hook, line, and sinker "completely" is 1838, a metaphor from angling.
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]
In addition to the idioms beginning with hook
- hook or crook
- hook up
- by hook or crook
- off the hook
- on one's own account (hook)