1 [hoot]
verb (used without object)
to cry out or shout, especially in disapproval or derision.
to utter the cry characteristic of an owl.
to utter a similar sound.
Chiefly British. to blow a horn or whistle; toot.
verb (used with object)
to assail with shouts of disapproval or derision: The fans hooted the umpire.
to drive out, off, or away by hooting.
to express in hoots: The crowd hooted its disagreement with the speaker.
the cry of an owl.
any similar sound, as an inarticulate shout.
a cry or shout, especially of disapproval or derision.
British. a horn, siren, or whistle, especially a factory whistle.
Informal. the least bit of concern, interest, or thought; trifle: I don't give a hoot.
Slang. an extremely funny person, situation, or event: Your mother's a hoot when she tells about her escapades in boarding school.

1150–1200; Middle English hoten, huten, houten (v.); perhaps imitative

hootingly, adverb
unhooted, adjective

1, 5. jeer, boo, hiss. 5. razz.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [hoot]
interjection Scot. and North England.
(used as an expression of impatience, dissatisfaction, objection, or dislike.)
Also, hoots.

1675–85; compare Swedish hut, Welsh hwt, Irish ut begone!

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hoot1 (huːt)
1.  the mournful wavering cry of some owls
2.  a similar sound, such as that of a train whistle
3.  a jeer of derision
4.  informal an amusing person or thing: the weekend was a hoot
5.  not give a hoot not to care at all
6.  (often foll by at) to jeer or yell (something) contemptuously (at someone)
7.  (tr) to drive (political speakers, actors on stage, etc) off or away by hooting
8.  (intr) to make a hoot
9.  (Brit) (intr) to blow a horn
[C13 hoten, of imitative origin]

hoot or hoots2 (huːt, huːts)
an exclamation of impatience or dissatisfaction: a supposed Scotticism
[C17: of unknown origin]
hoots or hoots2
[C17: of unknown origin]

hoot3 (huːt)
(Austral), (NZ) a slang word for money
[from Māori utu price]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, "to call or shout in disapproval or scorn," related to houten, huten "to shout, call out" (early 13c.), probably imitative. First used of bird cries, especially that of the owl, mid-15c. The noun meaning "a laugh, something funny" is first recorded 1942. Slang sense of "smallest amount or particle"
(esp. in don't give a hoot) is from 1878.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

hoot definition

  1. in.
    to laugh loudly. : The audience screamed and hooted with their appreciation.
  2. n.
    a joke; something laughable. : The whole business was a terrific hoot.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see not give a damn (hoot).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Sleigh rides are offered twice a week, and there's a hoot-and-holler of a tubing run with big banked turns.
The six-footer is a hoot-you can belly ride or stand up.
Night owls might think staying up late is a real hoot, but a new study hints
  that delayed sleep might have a sinister side.
Most of them that have to with theoretical science will not help humanity a
Idioms & Phrases
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