Definition of hoop in English:



  • 1A circular band of metal, wood, or similar material, especially one used for binding the staves of barrels or forming part of a framework.

    • ‘‘We have been dropping processed products from the menu for the last couple of years,’ said Amanda, whose first step when she took over two years ago was to ban spaghetti hoops.’
    • ‘She toyed with an oversized hoop of tarnished silver around her wrist.’
    • ‘Two hoops of ebony wood hung from her ears, dangling just above the level of her chin.’
    • ‘He was wearing silver hoops in both ears and spoke in a deep voice.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century, wooden barrels were assembled out of individual staves and hoops, with no two barrels being identical.’
    • ‘All that was left was a heap of metal hoops from the casks.’
    • ‘Cover earliest plants with sheet plastic stretched over hoops to boost warmth early in the season and prevent frost damage.’
    • ‘A large, empty, porcelain basin and pitcher sat on his bedside table for washing his face, along with a white towel, folded through a brass hoop hanging on the wall.’
    • ‘Arriva, unlike many train operators, is keeping litter bins on stations, but is using plastic bags held in a metal hoop, rather than metal bins.’
    • ‘The canopy's rose-colored silk gauze panels flow from a circular hoop with a rainbow-colored silk top, secured with roses and pink ribbon streamers.’
    • ‘She said: ‘The wind was so strong that it blew some of the aluminium hoops out of the framework and bent them double.’’
    • ‘Buckets, barrels and tubs were made from planks of wood bound with metal or withy hoops.’
    • ‘Tests showed that the precious metals covered a hoop of base metal.’
    • ‘One drill involves players running around a giant hoop to work on their footwork and simulate the angle it usually takes to get into the backfield.’
    • ‘All edges will meet properly and the barrel will hold liquid without any agent other than the hoops which hold the staves together.’
    ring, band, circle, circlet, loop, wheel, round, girdle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An earring in the form of a circular band of metal or other material.
      ‘a pair of plain gold hoops’
      • ‘Large gold hoops dangled from her ears to tangle in her unruly hair.’
      • ‘Meyer, a natural showman who sported a silver hoop in his left ear, became a frequent guest on television documentaries.’
      • ‘It was all black clothes, leathery faces and gold hoop earrings with them, I noted.’
      • ‘Oversized silver hoops dangled from her ears, glinting softly in the light from the Corvette.’
      • ‘Tiffany wore huge silver hoops in her ears and had plum lipstick smeared over her lips.’
      • ‘She wore a belted black leather coat and small, tasteful gold hoops in her ears.’
      • ‘Most of the men just had a hoop in one ear.’
      • ‘Kara shook her head, the silver hoop earrings she wore jangling merrily.’
      • ‘He had large hoop earrings in each ear and wore dark clothing.’
    2. 1.2 (in the past) a toy in the form of a large circular band of wood, rolled along the ground with a stick.
      • ‘He laughed, ‘I would do many things for her, but playing with dolls and hoops is not one of them.’’
      • ‘Above the fountain, one can see an eroded relief of a seated girl and a boy standing with a hoop and rod.’
      • ‘We used to have freedom and play in the fields with traditional toys such as hoops, a top and whip and marbles.’
    3. 1.3
      ‘spin the hoop around your waist or around your hips’
      short for hula hoop
      • ‘Spin the hoop around and vigorously shake your hips.’
      • ‘But can gyrating a day-glo hoop around the middle really give you a waspish waist?’
      • ‘Ten young performers with hoops draped around their small frames formed a circle and danced around the award-winning Grey Buffalo Singers.’
      • ‘They learn to spin the hoop around their knees, to get it back up to their waists, to spin around their chests, necks and above their heads.’
    4. 1.4 A large ring for circus performers to jump through.
      • ‘A big cat leaps through a flaming hoop, but not without snarling menacingly.’
      • ‘She jumped through the hoop, rolled over and did a back flip.’
      • ‘It's amazing how the tiger can jump through flaming hoops, how the bear can ride a motorcycle and how the lion can walk on a tightrope.’
      • ‘Sometimes the cats execute jumps, skips, and turns, or leap through flaming hoops, eliciting ooohs and aaahs from the packed circle of onlookers.’
    5. 1.5historical A circle of flexible material used for expanding a woman's petticoat or skirt.
      ‘a woman in hoops and crinoline’
      • ‘This will add lots of volume to your skirt, without using boned hoops.’
      • ‘Such gowns, by the late 1850s, had hoops, wire contraptions which replaced the multitude of petticoats and which caused women's dresses to billow out even further.’
      • ‘Women's underclothes are so much simpler than they used to be - no lacings, no tiny buttons and hooks, no hoops and petticoats.’
    6. 1.6British A metal arch through which balls are hit in croquet.
      • ‘As the little ball rolled through the hoop in front of it, Isabel giggled with Christine in delight.’
      • ‘Games would normally involve only one ball which would be struck through very wide hoops.’
      • ‘Hoops will generally come in sets of 6, being the number on a standard croquet lawn.’
      • ‘Croquet mallets and hoops wait on the lawn for those who want some pre-lunch exercise, while immaculately attired staff help you choose from the extensive menu of both Malaysian and Western cuisine.’
    7. 1.7 The round metal rim from which a basketball net is suspended.
      ‘by the official rules of the game, a basketball hoop must be 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet off the ground’
      • ‘Then, he began tossing the ball into the hoop from every possible position on the court.’
      • ‘The ball went in the hoop without touching the board, or the ring.’
      • ‘I jumped up high and the basketball slammed through the hoop.’
      • ‘Kyle stood in the park, absently throwing a basketball at the hoop.’
      • ‘The roar of the crowd was gratifying as the ball soared through the hoop, upping the score to 90-59 in our favor.’
      • ‘How high is it from the floor to the bottom of the backboard on a regulation basketball hoop?’
      • ‘It swirled around the ring before gracefully dropping into the hoop.’
      • ‘You have at least a chance of getting the ball through the hoop, right?’
      • ‘But when I got there and saw the basketball hoops, it reminded me of the times when my friends Darlene, Lana and I used to play together.’
      • ‘Down the hall she could hear sounds of basketballs hitting the hoop and sneakers squeaking on the waxed wooden floor.’
      • ‘I still wanted to prove to myself that I could throw a basketball through the hoop, though.’
      • ‘The other good bit of news is that the family that is buying our house does want to keep the basketball hoop in the back yard.’
      • ‘With a two-step hop, he launched himself towards the hoop and put the ball in, with ease.’
    8. 1.8hoopsUS informal The game of basketball.
      ‘Henry's father played hoops for Kansas’
      • ‘Merriman played high school hoops with Arrington's brother.’
      • ‘But the uncertainty didn't stop him from playing hoops at every chance he got.’
      • ‘How would you compare the popularity of hoops in Europe to football?’
      • ‘Ever tried to play hoops with an underinflated ball?’
      • ‘George set up his camera to shoot himself playing hoops outside his school.’
      • ‘In the offseason, Peppers gave up hoops to focus on football.’
      • ‘I would play golf every day if I had the time, and I love to play hoops and football with my boys.’
      • ‘Just because someone played hoops doesn't mean they're qualified to be a commentator.’
      • ‘It's a bit silly to toss off phrases like ‘historic occasion’ when you're opening up a few square yards of painted concrete for a game of hoops.’
      • ‘College hoops is a big-time spectator sport with a lucrative TV deal.’
  • 2A horizontal band of a contrasting colour on a sports shirt or jockey's cap.

    • ‘One sports firm agreed that some numbering could be illegible on certain backgrounds of hoops, bands and colours.’
    • ‘The Scottish, as you know, are particularly proud; 80,000 went to Barcelona and not one arrest… they're defending the honour of the club when they wear those hoops.’
    • ‘Come to think of it, they probably see the green/white hoops and assume I'm cheering for Ireland.’
    • ‘‘We are looking for three men, one of whom was wearing a shirt with dark hoops,’ he said.’
    • ‘Why Celtic chose green-and-white hoops as opposed to stripes nobody seems sure.’
    1. 2.1Australian informal A jockey.
      • ‘He didn't envy the Derby-winning hoop at Randwick or the rider who rode for a million dollars or who lived in the big house overlooking the ocean.’
      • ‘The 34-year-old is supported by his wife and year-old son as well as fellow Queensland hoops.’
      • ‘The retiring hoop gave his charge the command at the 400 metre mark and she responded with a sound win by a length.’


[with object]
  • Bind or encircle with or as with hoops.

    ‘a man was hooping a barrel’
    • ‘For proper placement, hoop and stitch the design before cutting the rectangle.’
    • ‘The children also took part in Victorian pastimes such as Throw the Horseshoe, a coconut shy, a tin can alley, marbles and hoop the duck.’
    • ‘I did all kinds of jobs for myself, from mending a pair of boots to hooping a barrel.’
    • ‘After the fabric is hooped, the hoop can be attached to an embroidery machine for stitching.’


  • shoot hoops

    • informal Play basketball.

      ‘he'd rather play golf or shoot hoops than work’
      • ‘Young basketball players can shoot hoops to their hearts' content at this year's Yorkshire International Basketball Camp.’
      • ‘Stella watched them shoot hoops for a while before remembering something.’
      • ‘Before he was famous, Nick and I used to shoot hoops together quite a bit.’
      • ‘He took the basketball from the garage and began to shoot hoops.’
      • ‘She used to lift weights and shoot hoops with her father, but today running, yoga and a vegan diet help keep her grounded and fit while touring the world.’
      • ‘They were watching a dark-haired girl shoot hoops and catch rebounds with her eyes closed.’
      • ‘I had called my oldest friend, Zack, earlier to see if he wanted to go down the park and shoot hoops or something.’
      • ‘Then we'd head out onto the driveway and shoot hoops until lunch.’
      • ‘Most important, get out there yourself - shoot hoops, play catch, roller-skate or learn to snowboard together.’
      • ‘Being home was better than being at school; at home I could mess around in my front yard and shoot hoops.’


Late Old English hōp, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoep.