Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[hoo f, hoof] /hʊf, huf/
noun, plural hoofs or hooves for 1, 2, 4; hoof for 3.
the horny covering protecting the ends of the digits or encasing the foot in certain animals, as the ox and horse.
the entire foot of a horse, donkey, etc.
Older Use. a hoofed animal, especially one of a herd.
Informal. the human foot.
verb (used with object)
Slang. to walk (often followed by it):
Let's hoof it to the supermarket.
verb (used without object)
Slang. to dance, especially to tap-dance:
He's been hoofing at the Palladium.
Idioms, plural hoof.
on the hoof, (of livestock) not butchered; live:
The city youngsters were seeing lambs on the hoof for the first time.
Origin of hoof
before 1000; Middle English (noun); Old English hōf; cognate with Old Frisian hōf, Dutch hoef, German Huf, Old Norse hōfr; compare Sanskrit śaphas
Related forms
hoofiness, noun
hoofless, adjective
hooflike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for hoofing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Henry wasn't with the car, at that moment, but was hoofing it into Ash Fork from the hills, glad to have his scalp with him.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • Weve got a good thirty miles of hoofing it down the trail before well be anywhere near a place we can get horses.

  • We shall be much happier ranching or hoofing it with the Lost Legion.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • Weve done better than twenty miles of hoofing it along this trail since sunup.

  • I was hoofing it over the flinty highway, trying to favour my blisters, when I heard a hail behind me.

    The Glory of The Coming Irvin S. Cobb
  • Trust Gladys for hoofing her out of it in double quick time, he remarked.

    The Angel of Pain E. F. Benson
British Dictionary definitions for hoofing


noun (pl) hooves (huːvz), hoofs
  1. the horny covering of the end of the foot in the horse, deer, and all other ungulate mammals
  2. (in combination): a hoofbeat, related adjective ungular
the foot of an ungulate mammal
a hoofed animal
(facetious) a person's foot
on the hoof
  1. (of livestock) alive
  2. in an impromptu manner: he did his thinking on the hoof
(transitive) to kick or trample with the hoofs
(slang) hoof it
  1. to walk
  2. to dance
Derived Forms
hoofless, adjective
hooflike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hōf; related to Old Norse hōfr, Old High German huof (German Huf), Sanskrit saphás
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hoofing



Old English hof "hoof," from Proto-Germanic *hofaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian hof, Old Norse hofr, Danish hov, Dutch hoef, German Huf "hof"), from PIE *kop- "to beat, strike" (cf. Sanskrit saphah "hoof"). For spelling, see hood (n.1).


"to walk" (hoof it), first attested 1640s, from hoof (n.); slang meaning "to dance" is 1920, American English (implied in hoofer). Related: Hoofed; hoofing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for hoofing



A foot: Take your goddam hoof the hell off my fender (1598+)


  1. To walk; hoof it: I better hoof over to the garage (1888+)
  2. To dance: She's hoofing in that show about cats (1921+)

Related Terms

shake a wicked calf

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
hoofing in the Bible

a cleft hoof as of neat cattle (Ex. 10:26; Ezek. 32:13); hence also of the horse, though not cloven (Isa. 5:28). The "parting of the hoof" is one of the distinctions between clean and unclean animals (Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:7).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hoof

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hoofing

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hoofing