(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

Related Words for shooing

scoot, scram, git, begone, away, depart, leave, off, out, scat, vamoose, hightail, skiddoo, skedaddle

Examples from the Web for shooing

Contemporary Examples of shooing

  • Shooing The Daily Beast away, he added: "But we were really asked not to divulge any details, I'm sorry."

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Knot Is Tied!

    Chris Wilson, Jacob Bernstein

    July 31, 2010

Historical Examples of shooing

  • Now and then she would get up for the purpose of shooing a chicken away from the door.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then she came laughing, waving her apron before her as if she were shooing chickens.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • She was shooing and brushing the little skunks with her tail, and they were trying to grab it.

  • You referred just now, said Sapphira, to shooing bears out of the hotel.

    Mr. Munchausen 

    John Kendrick Bangs

  • He might have been shooing the sweet thing off into the air.

    The High Heart

    Basil King

British Dictionary definitions for shooing



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 shooing



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