Definition of hookey in English:


(also hooky)


in phrase play hookey
North American
  • Play truant:

    ‘he played hookey from school to go out hunting’
    • ‘Some of those who were caught playing hookey were taken back to school, while others had their names and address taken.’
    • ‘They caused trouble by committing thefts, playing hooky, and gathering boisterously on the streets, not by becoming drunk and disorderly.’
    • ‘The next day, Aunt Polly punishes him for playing hookey by making him whitewash their entire fence.’
    • ‘Another severe problem is that playing hooky may also incite other students to follow your example, against their better judgment and their best interest.’
    • ‘I mean yes, I was caught red-handed playing hooky, so I did take a good tanning from my old man.’
    • ‘When I played hookey from school, my teacher wrote a letter of thanks to my mother.’
    • ‘Boy, did I get into trouble - not for playing hookey, but for lying.’
    • ‘Were they playing hooky when civics was taught?’
    • ‘Police say she was playing hooky from school, drinking and swimming with friends in a pool.’
    • ‘The longer she played hooky the bigger chance she had of being caught.’
    malinger, pretend to be ill, fake illness, feign illness
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.