Main definitions of boo in English

: boo1boo2

boo1

exclamation

  • 1Said suddenly to surprise someone who is unaware of one's presence:

    ‘‘Boo!’ she cried, jumping up to frighten him’
    • ‘I kept looking at them, waiting for a face to appear, to say hi or boo.’
    • ‘‘When he walks in we'll jump out and say boo,’ Sam whispered as well.’
    • ‘Ethan looked kind of nervous, I had the sudden urge to jump up and scream boo just to see what he'd do.’
    • ‘Behind the church, right at the back of the graveyard (a graveyard I used to have to walk past in the dark with a sadistic little sister who thought it funny to say boo) is a tiny ruin.’
  • 2Said to show disapproval or contempt:

    ‘‘There's only one bar.’ ‘Boo!’’
    • ‘There didn't appear to be any kind of legal medication I could take that would keep me awake 24/7 to experience everything… boo.’
    • ‘Lately, I seem to be having quite a bit of free time upon my hands, so all that I can say is… boo!’
    • ‘Unfortunately, one of the curtain rod kits I'd bought didn't have the mounting hardware inside, so I'm going to have to get another one - boo!’
    • ‘Bianca gets every day except Tuesday off coz she's doing her IT subjects via distance. boo!’
    • ‘I didn't find what I was looking for though, boo.’
    • ‘I have to get the whole broken on-off button on my cell phone seen to or else buy a new phone - boo!’
    • ‘It's been great, but now I'm really poor, so I need to work. boo.’
    • ‘They also brew their Vienna lager and Star Spangled Banner (an American pale ale) on occasion, but neither of these were available to try - boo!’
    • ‘Thus it may be a while before I blog properly again. Boo.’
    • ‘But I don't have time to call them, and every time I sit down to write a letter, I end up with some super cheesy gag of an invite. Boo.’
    • ‘Even worse, you have to fill in a dreaded tax return every year - boo!’

noun

  • An utterance of ‘boo’ to show disapproval of a speaker or performer:

    ‘the audience greeted this comment with boos and hisses’
    • ‘As the march swung past Number 10 there was a cacophony of whistles, boos, jeers and insults.’
    • ‘During a home game against Dunfermline the player's misfiring performance was subjected to a sustained chorus of boos and jeers from his own fans.’
    • ‘A chorus of boos and hisses greeted this comment.’
    • ‘Her pleasantness is met with boos, hoots and catcalls.’
    • ‘When James came on to take a bow, never before had Maugham heard ‘such an outburst of boos and catcalls’.’
    • ‘Lots of hisses and boos to the Chancellor for not relenting on that score.’
    • ‘Three hundred policemen cleared the yard outside and the couple were taken away in a police van to boos and jeers from the waiting crowd.’
    • ‘The audience's boos, screams, and applause determines who wins the fight.’
    • ‘He returned yesterday to a deafening roar of hisses and boos and expletives.’
    • ‘I want to hear the boos and jeers up here in Sin City.’
    • ‘Only when he is greeted with boos and hisses does it become clear that the cries of ‘author, author’ are ironic.’
    • ‘Shouts, boos, whistles from the crowd sheltering in the marquees.’
    • ‘As Moore shouted over boos and cheers, most of the nominees who had just given him a standing ovation sat silent.’
    • ‘The fans of that school screamed and shouted over the boos and hisses.’
    • ‘The evil Sheriff of Nottingham was played excellently and evoked plenty of hisses and boos - as very good baddie should!’
    • ‘The response drew boos and hisses from some journalists and several walked out.’
    • ‘The two cars were greeted with boos and whistles from the grandstands as they pulled up after the race.’
    • ‘The audience responded with a cascade of hisses and boos.’
    • ‘The moment the headmaster said this, there was a loud eruption of boos and hisses.’
    • ‘The post-match analysts then came on to boos and hisses.’
    shout, yell, cry, howl, scream, shriek, whoop, whistle
    View synonyms

verb

  • Say ‘boo’ to show disapproval of a speaker or performer:

    [no object] ‘they booed and hissed when he stepped on stage’
    [with object] ‘the team were booed off the pitch’
    • ‘Raymond actually booed when they disappeared off the right edge of the monitor.’
    • ‘The audience was booing and heckling, which prompted the cops to call for backup.’
    • ‘Rather than booing, fans recall it was more a wall of silence that greeted his efforts, but they would get their comeuppance soon enough.’
    • ‘Angry crowds attended public meetings organised by the Commission, jeering and booing the speakers.’
    • ‘It's hard to imagine anyone walking out on this performance, much less booing it.’
    • ‘The evil Abanazer had the audience booing and hissing from the start.’
    • ‘Managers and directors were booed and jeered at as they left and entered the building.’
    • ‘A figure of fun, his name was jeered for his hypocrisy, booed for his betrayal.’
    • ‘People are booing, and I don't even try to stop them as this ragtag of veteran-looking musicians play on.’
    • ‘At that time the Tricolour was banned, so we gave the police some trouble in taking the flags down, the crowds booing them.’
    • ‘The meeting featured loud hooting, hissing and booing from the supporters of the various positions.’
    • ‘My brother, who was at the ceremony and game did confirm that yes, people were booing the PM quite openly.’
    • ‘He actually came out and - when the crowd was booing and asked them to calm down.’
    • ‘The audience at the Social Forum booed and hissed him so loudly that he had to leave the stage.’
    • ‘The workers booed and jeered as the manger of the factory addressed their annual Christmas meeting.’
    • ‘The ever present gangs, all set to boo them, were also in full swing whenever the vocals chords missed the notes.’
    • ‘They kept traveling the country trying to sell it and people kept booing and hissing them down.’
    • ‘From the start, his speech was accompanied by a chorus of whistling and booing.’
    • ‘Before he could finish, the crowd showed their disapproval by booing him off the stage.’
    • ‘The diplomat explained that people were booing, an expression of disapproval.’
    taunt, mock, scoff at, ridicule, laugh at, sneer at, deride, tease, insult, abuse, scorn
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Phrases

  • wouldn't say boo to a goose

    • Used to emphasize that someone is very timid:

      ‘he seemed the kind of chap who wouldn't say boo to a goose’
      • ‘‘He was quite a quiet guy who kept himself to himself - you always got the impression he wouldn't say boo to a goose,’ said Mr Hemmings.’
      • ‘A gentle soul of a man who wouldn't say boo to a goose.’
      • ‘At work neither of them would say boo to the proverbial goose, yet here they are behaving like a couple of irritating street tykes.’
      • ‘Before you can say boo to a goose, we enter dangerous ground where relatively harmless differences between people become a cause for complaint and division.’
      • ‘He may have been a small nervous man who would not say boo to a goose.’
      • ‘When I started, I was just a very quiet north-Kent girl who didn't say boo to a goose.’
      • ‘If I hadn't met him, I'd probably still be cowering in a corner somewhere, refusing to say boo to a goose.’
      • ‘There should be someone who can say boo to the goose.’
      • ‘My youngest son wouldn't say boo to a goose and he was absolutely petrified.’
      • ‘By now, it was clear he didn't have wits enough to say boo to a goose.’
      • ‘Mrs Dalton, a neighbour, said: ‘She didn't say boo to a goose.’’
      • ‘It turns out that the lad who looks like a no-nonsense squaddie on the park wouldn't say boo to a goose outwith those environs.’
      reserved, withdrawn, introverted, restrained, inhibited, diffident, shy, modest, unassuming, shrinking, distant, undemonstrative, wouldn't say boo to a goose
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Origin

Early 19th century (in boo): imitative of the lowing of oxen.

Pronunciation:

boo

/buː/

Main definitions of boo in English

: boo1boo2

boo2

noun

US
informal
  • A person's boyfriend or girlfriend.

    • ‘She has also made solo inroads, doing that song about being with her boo.’
    • ‘Some things I view as sacred and extremely personal that I wouldn't share… these include times shared with my boo.’
    • ‘‘I'm not doubting what happened, boo,’ Shayna began sweetly.’
    • ‘You turn ma boo against me, with your contemptuous lies.’
    • ‘But we're no clearer about the line ‘even when I'm with my boo / you know I'm crazy over you.’’

Origin

1980s: origin uncertain; probably an alteration of French beau boyfriend, male admirer.

Pronunciation:

boo

/buː/