(used to scare or drive away a cat, dog, chickens, birds, etc.)

verb (used with object), shooed, shoo·ing.

to drive away by saying or shouting “shoo.”
to request or force (a person) to leave: I'll have to shoo you out of here now.

verb (used without object), shooed, shoo·ing.

to call out “shoo.”

Origin of shoo

1475–85; earlier showe, shough, shooh, ssou (interjection), imitative; compare German schu
Can be confusedshoe shoo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shoo

Contemporary Examples of shoo

  • When the rest of us would stand, we could watch parts of the ceremony until security would try to shoo us back to our seats.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Night at the Golden Globe Awards

    Ramin Setoodeh

    January 14, 2013

Historical Examples of shoo

  • It was a little mean of her, but he looked the other way and said, "Shoo, Teddy."

    W. A. G.'s Tale

    Margaret Turnbull

  • All Sim had to do was to make a pass at the Jerries, loop over and shoo them away.

  • I tried to give him the wink and shoo him off, but it was no go.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • Acknowledging the presence of the cows only by a friendly "Shoo, there!"

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • And you just shoo me off wherever you please and go on with the good work.

    The Straw

    Eugene O'Neill

British Dictionary definitions for shoo



go away!: used to drive away unwanted or annoying people, animals, etc

verb shoos, shooing or shooed

(tr) to drive away by or as if by crying "shoo."
(intr) to cry "shoo."

Word Origin for shoo

C15: imitative; related to Middle High German schū, French shou, Italian scio
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

Word Origin and History for shoo

1620s, "to drive away by calling 'shoo,' " from the exclamation (late 15c.), perhaps instinctive, cf. German schu, Italian scioia. Related: Shooed; shooing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper