from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The foot of such an animal, especially a horse.
  • noun Slang The human foot.
  • intransitive verb To trample with the hooves.
  • intransitive verb To dance, especially as a professional.
  • intransitive verb To go on foot; walk.
  • idiom (hoof it) To walk.
  • idiom (hoof it) To dance.
  • idiom (on the hoof) Not yet butchered; alive. Used especially of cattle.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The horny substance or case that covers or terminates the feet of certain animals, as horses, oxen, etc.
  • noun A hoofed animal; a beast.
  • noun (Geom.) See Ungula.
  • intransitive verb rare To walk as cattle.
  • intransitive verb Slang, U.S. To be on a tramp; to foot.
  • intransitive verb to foot it.
  • intransitive verb of cattle, standing (on the hoof); not slaughtered.
  • intransitive verb live cattle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb dance in a professional capacity
  • noun the horny covering of the end of the foot in ungulate mammals
  • verb walk
  • noun the foot of an ungulate mammal


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

[Middle English hof, from Old English hōf.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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').


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  • 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

  • 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

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

    May 7, 2008