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

  • noun A circular band of metal or wood put around a cask or barrel to bind the staves together.
  • noun A large wooden, plastic, or metal ring, especially one used as a plaything or for trained animals to jump through.
  • noun One of the lightweight circular supports for a hoop skirt.
  • noun A circular, ringlike earring.
  • noun One of a pair of circular frames, usually of wood or plastic, used to hold material taut for embroidery or similar needlework.
  • noun The basket.
  • noun A field goal.
  • noun The game of basketball.
  • noun Sports A croquet wicket.
  • transitive verb To hold together or support with a hoop.
  • transitive verb To encircle.
  • idiom (jump/go) To undergo a rigorous trial or examination.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A bullfinch.
  • To bind or fasten with a hoop or with hoops; provide with a hoop: as, to hoop a barrel or puncheon.
  • To clasp; encircle; surround.
  • noun Same as whoop.
  • noun A circular band or flattened ring of wood, metal, or other material; especially, a band of wood or metal used to confine the staves of casks, tubs, etc., or for any similar purpose; also, that part of a finger-ring which surrounds the finger, as distinguished from the chaton.
  • noun A large ring of wood or iron for a child to trundle.
  • noun A circular band of stiff material serving to expand the skirt of a woman's dress: often used, either in the singular or in the plural, for the skirt itself so expanded.
  • noun Something resembling a hoop; anything circular: technically applied in botany to the overlapping edge of one of the valves of the frustule of the Diatomaceæ.
  • noun A certain quantity of drink, up to the first hoop on a quart pot (which was formerly bound with hoops like a barrel).
  • noun An old English measure of capacity, variously estimated at from 1 to 4 pecks.
  • noun The casing inclosing a pair of millstones; also, a reinforcing band about one of the stones.
  • noun Same as hoopoe.

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

  • noun A shout; a whoop, as in whooping cough.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The hoopoe. See Hoopoe.
  • transitive verb To drive or follow with a shout.
  • transitive verb To call by a shout or peculiar cry.
  • transitive verb To bind or fasten with hoops.
  • transitive verb To clasp; to encircle; to surround.
  • intransitive verb To utter a loud cry, or a sound imitative of the word, by way of call or pursuit; to shout.
  • intransitive verb To whoop, as in whooping cough. See Whoop.
  • intransitive verb (Med.) See Whooping cough.
  • noun A pliant strip of wood or metal bent in a circular form, and united at the ends, for holding together the staves of casks, tubs, etc.
  • noun A ring; a circular band; anything resembling a hoop, as the cylinder (cheese hoop) in which the curd is pressed in making cheese.
  • noun A circle, or combination of circles, of thin whalebone, metal, or other elastic material, used for expanding the skirts of ladies' dresses; crinoline; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  • noun obsolete A quart pot; -- so called because originally bound with hoops, like a barrel. Also, a portion of the contents measured by the distance between the hoops.
  • noun engraving An old measure of capacity, variously estimated at from one to four pecks.
  • noun the hoop nearest the middle of a cask, that nearest the end, and the intermediate hoop between these two, respectively.
  • noun a wooden hoop dressed flat on both sides.
  • noun a wooden hoop left rounding and undressed on the outside.
  • noun iron in thin narrow strips, used for making hoops.
  • noun the fastening for uniting the ends of wooden hoops by notching and interlocking them.
  • noun a framework of hoops for expanding the skirts of a woman's dress; -- called also hoop petticoat.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a harmless snake of the Southern United States (Abaster erythrogrammus); -- so called from the mistaken notion that it curves itself into a hoop, taking its tail into its mouth, and rolls along with great velocity.
  • noun (Bot.) a small West Indian tree (Melia sempervirens), of the Mahogany family.

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

  • noun A circular band of metal used to bind a barrel.


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

[Middle English hop.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hoop, hoope, from Old English hōp ("mound, raised land", in combination, also "circular object"), from Proto-Germanic *hōpan (“bend, bow, arch”) (compare Dutch hoep), from Proto-Indo-European *kāb- (“to bend”) (compare Lithuanian kabė ("hook"), Old Church Slavic  (kǫpŭ, "hill, island")). More at camp.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word hoop.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Pooh in reverse.

    November 3, 2007