a long-handled implement having a thin, flat blade usually set transversely, used to break up the surface of the ground, destroy weeds, etc.
any of various implements of similar form, as for mixing plaster or mortar.
verb (used with object), hoed, hoeing.
to dig, scrape, weed, cultivate, etc., with a hoe.
verb (used without object), hoed, hoeing.
to use a hoe.

1325–75; Middle English howe < Old French houe < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch houwe, Old High German houwa mattock; akin to hew

hoer, noun
hoelike, adjective
unhoed, adjective
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Richard, 1812–86, U.S. inventor and manufacturer of printing-press equipment.
his father, Robert, 1784–1833, U.S. manufacturer of printing presses.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hoe (həʊ)
1.  any of several kinds of long-handled hand implement equipped with a light blade and used to till the soil, eradicate weeds, etc
vb , hoes, hoeing, hoed
2.  to dig, scrape, weed, or till (surface soil) with or as if with a hoe
[C14: via Old French houe from Germanic: compare Old High German houwā, houwan to hew, German Haue hoe]

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

1363, from O.Fr. houe (12c.), from Frank. *hauwa (cf. O.H.G. houwa "hoe, mattock, pick-axe"), related to O.E. heawan "to cut" (see hew). The verb is first recorded c.1430. Hoe-cake, 1745, Amer.Eng., was said originally to have been baked on the broad thin blade of a cotton-field
hoe. Hoedown "noisy dance" first recorded 1841, probably from perceived parallel of dance motions to those of farm chores.
"As to dancing, no Long-Island negro could shuffle you 'double trouble,' or 'hoe corn and dig potatoes' more scientifically." [Washington Irving, "Salmagundi," March 7, 1807]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see tough row to hoe.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


one of the oldest tools of agriculture, a digging implement consisting of a blade set at right angles to a long handle. The blade of the modern hoe is metal and the handle of wood; earlier versions, including the picklike mattock, had stone or wooden blades; the digging stick, precursor of most modern agricultural handtools, was simply a sharpened branch sometimes weighted with a stone. Hoes have largely been replaced in agriculture by plows and harrows but are still commonly used in gardening and horticulture to loosen dirt and to chop weeds. The modern rotary hoe is a sophisticated tool that hoes many rows of a field simultaneously.

Learn more about hoe with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
They don't need much more than a pointy stick or a simple hoe to feed
The operation required a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a hoe and a broom.
Many owners of shovels, hoes and other digging tools may not be aware that the
  tools should be sharpened.
With my back bent and a hoe in my right hand, I pretended to work in a rice
Idioms & Phrases
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