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ballyhoo

[n. bal-ee-hoo; v. bal-ee-hoo, bal-ee-hoo] /n. ˈbæl iˌhu; v. ˈbæl iˌhu, ˌbæl iˈhu/
noun, plural ballyhoos.
1.
a clamorous and vigorous attempt to win customers or advance any cause; blatant advertising or publicity.
2.
clamor or outcry.
3.
a halfbeak, Hemiramphus brasiliensis, inhabiting both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), ballyhooed, ballyhooing.
4.
to advertise or push by ballyhoo.
Origin of ballyhoo
1830-1840
1830-40, Americanism; of uncertain origin
Synonyms
1. buildup, hoopla, fanfare; hype.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ballyhoo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is no danger,” he replied, calmly puffing his pipe; “is there, ballyhoo?

    The Great Cattle Trail Edward S. Ellis
  • The ballyhoo upon the elevated platform without had been completed.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • In the first place the ballyhoo advertisers have shouted the public deaf.

  • Why not hire a band, too; and get a ballyhoo to bark for your show?

    Rich Man, Poor Man Maximilian Foster
  • ballyhoo Gleeson was the only cowboy that had remained behind with Captain Shirril.

    The Great Cattle Trail Edward S. Ellis
  • ballyhoo” fixed his eye on one of the red men, who seemed to be at the rear.

    The Great Cattle Trail Edward S. Ellis
  • Why, once he took a job as a ballyhoo at a show on the Bowery in Coney Island.

    Ruth Fielding Down East Alice B. Emerson
  • It struck the youth as strange that ballyhoo should stop after starting for the dwelling.

    The Great Cattle Trail Edward S. Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for ballyhoo

ballyhoo

/ˌbælɪˈhuː/
noun (informal)
1.
a noisy, confused, or nonsensical situation or uproar
2.
sensational or blatant advertising or publicity
verb -hoos, -hooing, -hooed
3.
(transitive) (mainly US) to advertise or publicize by sensational or blatant methods
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin
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
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Word Origin and History for ballyhoo
n.

"publicity, hype," 1908, from circus slang, "a short sample of a sideshow" (1901), of unknown origin. There is a village of Ballyhooly in County Cork, Ireland. In nautical lingo, ballahou or ballahoo (1867, perhaps 1836) meant "an ungainly vessel," from Spanish balahu "schooner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ballyhoo

alum

noun

An alumnus or alumna

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for ballyhoo

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ballyhoo

16
17
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