Definitions

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

  • interjection Used to express annoyance or objection.
  • noun A hootenanny.
  • intransitive verb To utter the characteristic cry of an owl.
  • intransitive verb To make a loud raucous cry, especially of derision or contempt.
  • intransitive verb To shout down or drive off with jeering cries.
  • intransitive verb To express or convey by hooting.
  • noun The characteristic cry of an owl.
  • noun A sound suggesting the cry of an owl, especially the sound of a horn.
  • noun A cry of scorn or derision.
  • noun Informal One that is hilariously funny.
  • idiom (not give/care) To be completely indifferent to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cry out or shout in contempt.
  • To cry as some owls: distinguished from screech.
  • To drive or pursue with cries or shouts uttered in contempt; utter contemptuous cries or shouts at.
  • noun A cry or shout in contempt.
  • An exclamation expressive of dissatisfaction, of some degree of irritation, and sometimes of disbelief: equivalent to fie, tut, tush, pshaw, etc. Also hoot-toot, hout, hout-tout.
  • noun The cry of an owl.
  • noun Money paid as compensation; payment; recompense; remuneration.

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

  • transitive verb To assail with contemptuous cries or shouts; to follow with derisive shouts.
  • intransitive verb To cry out or shout in contempt.
  • intransitive verb To make the peculiar cry of an owl.
  • noun A derisive cry or shout.
  • noun The cry of an owl.
  • noun A very funny event, person, or experience.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the barred owl (Syrnium nebulosum). See Barred owl.
  • noun not care at all.

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

  • noun A derisive cry or shout.
  • noun The cry of an owl.
  • noun US, slang A fun event or person. (See hootenanny)
  • verb To cry out or shout in contempt.
  • verb To make the cry of an owl.
  • verb To assail with contemptuous cries or shouts; to follow with derisive shouts.

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

  • verb to utter a loud clamorous shout
  • noun a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
  • verb utter the characteristic sound of owls
  • noun a loud raucous cry (as of an owl)
  • noun something of little value

Etymologies

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

[Middle English houten, of imitative origin.]

Examples

  • July 13th, 2009 2: 16 pm ET what's a hoot is this woman could be as dumb as a box of rocks ... and because she's hispanic ... she's the 'one.

    Graham: Confirmation likely barring 'complete meltdown'

  • It was probably a hoot of a character to watch when audiences didn't know who he was as well as they were about to --- The Odd Couple's just a few years in the future --- but looking back forty years now the hoot is in seeing him doing what would become his stock in trade, the grouchy, rumpled, slightly amoral cynic with a good heart somewhere underneath it all.

    Lance Mannion:

  • It was probably a hoot of a character to watch when audiences didn't know who he was as well as they were about to --- The Odd Couple's just a few years in the future --- but looking back forty years now the hoot is in seeing him doing what would become his stock in trade, the grouchy, rumpled, slightly amoral cynic with a good heart somewhere underneath it all.

    When the grumpy old man was a grumpy young man

  • I would never use the word hoot, and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word "hoot."

    Gawker

  • I would never use the word hoot and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word "hoot."

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • I would never use the word hoot and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word "hoot."

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • I would never use the word hoot and I respectfully ask that every time my name is brought up she would stop using the word "hoot."

    The Hollywood Liberal

  • If that is made clear to the participants and the debate is refereed diligently to avoid the use of false dichotomy argumentation, then the “debate” would be a real hoot which is to say, the ID schmucks would have nothing to say.

    Bring On the Chiquitas! - The Panda's Thumb

  • Well, Life Among The Savages is simply one long, uninterrupted hoot from the start, when Jackson, her husband and their two small children move out of New York and into a gloriously eccentric house in deepest Vermont, right until the finish, when Jackson brings her fourth baby home to greet the household (after her husband and eldest son have been surreptitiously running a book on when she’ll finally have it).

    Seeing The Funny Side « Tales from the Reading Room

  • What’s an even bigger hoot is the “godless communism” rap the religious put forth.

    Think Progress » Ann Coulter may have plagiarized

Comments

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  • "MENENIUS: How! Was it we? we lov'd him, but, like beasts,

    And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,

    Who did hoot him out o' the city."

    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009