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[hoh-doun] /ˈhoʊˌdaʊn/
a community dancing party typically featuring folk and square dances accompanied by lively hillbilly tunes played on the fiddle.
the hillbilly or country music typical of a hoedown.
Origin of hoedown
1835-45, Americanism; hoe + down1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hoedown
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In addition, all brought whatever had been ready for a hoedown in the making.

    The Lost Wagon James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • Wims was back at the hoedown only this time without even his briefs.

  • "It doesn't matter whether it's illness or a civic problem or a hoedown, Wilomene is always called on," people said.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • In the evening the attachés of the show were quite apt to be invited to a plantation dance or "hoedown."

    Sawdust & Spangles W. C. Coup
British Dictionary definitions for hoedown


noun (US & Canadian)
a boisterous square dance
a party at which hoedowns are danced
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 hoedown

"noisy dance," 1841, apparently originally the name of a specific dance, perhaps from perceived parallel of dance motions to those of farm chores, hence from hoe (n.).

The step of every negro dance that was ever known, was called into requisition and admirably executed. They performed the "double shuffle," the "Virginny break-down," the "Kentucky heeltap," the "pigeon wing," the "back balance lick," the "Arkansas hoe down," with unbounded applause and irresistible effect. ["Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers," 1848]
"Hoe corn, hill tobacco" is noted as a line in the chorus of a slave song in 1838, and Washington Irving writes of a dance called "hoe corn and dig potatoes" in 1807.
The same precedence is repeated until all the merchandise is disposed of, the table is then banished the room, and the whole party hoe it down in straight fours and set dances, till the hour when "ghosts wandering here and there, troop home to church-yards." This is what we kintra folk call a strauss. ["Der Teufelskerl. A Tale of German Pennsylvania," in "Burton's Gentleman's Magazine," January 1840]

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



  1. (also hoe-dig) A country square dance (1807+)
  2. A lively and noisy argument (1950s+)
  3. A riotous fight; brawl: Mr Clinton has put more energy into such old-politics hoedowns (1950s+)
  4. A fight between gangs; rumble: Anything can start a hoedown (1950s+ Street gangs)
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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