(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 shoos

Historical Examples of shoos

  • The Dummy was gone—the Senior Nurse had shooed him off as one shoos a chicken.

    Love Stories

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Sarah bustled him out of the room, as one shoos chickens, and I lay back on my pillows and laughed.

    Mavis of Green Hill

    Faith Baldwin

  • No hale man ever loves him; he stirs the sportsman's wrath; the whole world kicks and shoves him and shoos him from the path.

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason

British Dictionary definitions for shoos



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 shoos



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