Definition of cooee in English:

cooee

exclamation

informal
  • Used to attract attention, especially at a distance.

    ‘‘Cooee!’ The call brought all three heads round’

verb

[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Make a call to attract attention.

    ‘Liz had to cooee as he seemed in danger of blundering into the table’
    • ‘That we seldom saw a snake was probably due to the noise we made cooeeing and ululating to each other through a labyrinth of tunnels under the wiry branches.’
    • ‘Bob was right with me when I pegged my first Yank nugget, but didn't seem all that enthusiastic when I started yelling and cooeeing at the top of my lungs, so I slunk off to find Chris so I could find more appreciative company.’
    • ‘I cooeed, which disturbed the dogs of the camp; but the cold wind blew so strong from the east, that I feared Charley would either not hear my cooee, or I not his.’
    • ‘He hurried back, cooeeing and calling her name without getting an answer.’
    • ‘I whistled and cooeed to John who was well out of sight and hearing by this stage, hoping that the wind would carry my voice.’
    • ‘I cooeed back, and there was obvious relief in her replying cooee.’
    call, shout, exclaim, sing out, yell, shriek, scream, screech, bawl, bellow, roar, whoop
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • within cooee

    • informal Within reach; near.

      ‘there's loads of cheap accommodation within cooee of the airport’
      • ‘It allowed passengers to come into the country without being in sight of a detector dog and without being within cooee of a soft-tissue X-ray machine.’
      • ‘Suffice it to say, if Helen or Winston didn't rate a particular candidate, that person would not get within cooee of the top 40.’
      • ‘Many of those millions of dollars have been spent on programmes before this television service has even come within cooee of going to air.’
      • ‘‘To sustain their argument of no loss of open space the Health Department claims any land within cooee of any buildings at present is not open space,’ she said.’
      • ‘But only on condition that we get ourselves another flag; Australian beef would surely flop if we let our present flag appear ‘anywhere within cooee of even a sliver of Australian beef jerky’.’

Origin

Late 18th century: imitative of a signal used by Australian Aborigines and copied by settlers.

Pronunciation

cooee

/ˈkuːiː/