play hooky

Be absent from school or some other obligation without permission, as in It was such a beautiful day that Herb played hooky from work. In this term, the noun hooky may have come from the phrase hook it, meaning “escape.” [Mid-1800s]


Nearby words

  1. play games,
  2. play hard to get,
  3. play hardball,
  4. play havoc,
  5. play hide and seek,
  6. play in peoria,
  7. play into the hands of,
  8. play it by ear,
  9. play it close to one's chest,
  10. play it cool

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