Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sound uttered to show contempt, scorn, or disapproval.
  • n. Informal Any sound or word: You never said boo to me about overtime.
  • interj. Used to express contempt, scorn, or disapproval or to frighten or surprise another.
  • intransitive v. To utter a boo.
  • transitive v. To express contempt, scorn, or disapproval of by booing: booed the singer off the stage.
  • n. Slang Marijuana.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. A loud exclamation intended to scare someone, especially a child. Usually used when one has been hidden from the victim and then suddenly appeared unexpectedly.
  • interj. A word used ironically in a situation where one might have scared someone, but said someone was not scared. Not said as loudly as in definition 1.
  • interj. An exclamation used by a member or many members of an audience, as at a stage play or sports game, to indicate derision or disapproval of what has just occurred.
  • n. A derisive shout made to indicate disapproval.
  • n. A close acquaintance or significant other, derived from French beau.
  • v. To shout extended boos derisively.
  • v. To derisively shout extended boos at.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. to show displeasure (after a performance or speech) by making a prolonged sound of “boo”.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as bo.
  • n. Same as bu.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
  • v. show displeasure, as after a performance or speech

Etymologies

Imitative.
Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined to create a loud and startling sound. Compare Latin boō ("to cry aloud, roar, shout"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Code for Bodo Airport, Bodo, Norway.

    December 29, 2009

  • I remember the first time one of my dearest friends referred to me as “boo”. That had to be way back in the late 80’s early 90’s. Today everyone knows what boo means. It’s a term of endearment, it’s a way of letting someone know that you like them. For example if I run into you at the mall and I shout out “Hey Boo!” You know I’m saying, “ glad to see you, you’re looking good and I like you” and a bunch of other good stuff all wrapped up into one neat little 3-letter package – B-O-O!...Remember Mo’Nique when she was on the Parker’s? Whenever her character Nikki Parker saw Professor Stanley Oglevee she would say, “Hey Boo!”
    http://ileane.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/wordsmith/

    December 2, 2009

  • Another meaning for boo is boyfriend/girlfriend. From "My Boo" written by Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, Jr., Adonis Shropshire, Alicia Keys, and Usher: "Know that you're that one for me/it's clear for everyone to see/Ooh baby, you will always be my boo" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Boo_(Usher_and_Alicia_Keys_song)

    August 2, 2009

  • my godmother's name is "Boo". ( my father gave her the name.) I have never given up on the ghost. c'est vrai.

    June 14, 2009

  • If someone calls you boo (as a term of endearment) have you been booed?

    June 14, 2009

  • Term of endearment.

    June 14, 2009

  • I love my unicorn, he knows I am true,
    My troubles go poof, my unicorn named Boo.

    - Mariah Carey, The Unicorn

    January 14, 2009

  • Supposedly derived from Boh, a general from Norse myth. Boh was a son of Odin and a general, and was so fierce and powerful that the mere mention of his name struck fear in the hearts of his enemies. Viking warriors would shout his name when launching a surprise attack, and that eventually led to the custom of shouting "Boo!" when surprising someone.

    January 13, 2009

  • Jane Smiley on ghosts.

    February 1, 2008