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

  • n. The horny sheath covering the toes or lower part of the foot of a mammal of the orders Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla, such as a horse, ox, or deer.
  • n. The foot of such an animal, especially a horse.
  • n. Slang The human foot.
  • transitive v. To trample with the hoofs.
  • intransitive v. Slang To dance, especially as a professional.
  • intransitive v. Slang To go on foot; walk.
  • idiom hoof it Slang To walk.
  • idiom hoof it Slang To dance.
  • idiom on the hoof Not yet butchered; alive. Used especially of cattle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The tip of a toe of an ungulate such as a horse, ox or deer, strengthened by a thick keratin covering.
  • n. The human foot.
  • v. To trample with hooves.
  • v. To walk.
  • v. To dance, especially as a professional.
  • v. to kick, especially to kick the football a long way downfield with little accuracy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The horny substance or case that covers or terminates the feet of certain animals, as horses, oxen, etc.
  • n. A hoofed animal; a beast.
  • n. See Ungula.
  • intransitive v. To walk as cattle.
  • intransitive v. To be on a tramp; to foot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To walk, as cattle; foot: with an indefinite it.
  • To kill (game) by shooting it on the ground.
  • n. The casing of hard horny substance which sheathes the ends of the digits or incases the foot in many animals.
  • n. A hoofed animal; a beast.
  • n. In geometry, an ungula or part of a cylinder or cone cut off by a plane cutting both the base and the curved surface.
  • n. In tortoise-shell manuf., one of the smaller plates of translucent shell forming the head.

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

  • v. dance in a professional capacity
  • n. the horny covering of the end of the foot in ungulate mammals
  • v. walk
  • n. the foot of an ungulate mammal


Middle English hof, from Old English hōf.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English hōf, from Proto-Germanic *hōfaz (compare West Frisian/Dutch hoef, German Huf, Swedish hov), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱoph₂ós (compare Russian копыто (kopýto) 'hoof', копать (kopát’) 'to dig', Avestan ... (safa, "hoof"), Sanskrit शफ (śapháḥ) 'hoof, claw'). (Wiktionary)


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  • Comparisons between self and equine quadruped are probably dangerous territory, dc ;-)

    May 7, 2008

  • Yea-uh! I own a horse and I can tell you that I spend 100% more on HER manicures than I do on my own... and that hurts a little...

    May 7, 2008

  • The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.

    May 7, 2008