Main definitions of hooky in US English:

: hooky1hooky2

hooky1

(also hookey)

noun

in phrase play hooky
North American
informal
  • Stay away from school or work without permission or explanation.

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

Origin

Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

hooky

/ˈhʊki//ˈho͝okē/

Main definitions of hooky in US English:

: hooky1hooky2

hooky2

adjective

  • (of a tune or a component of a tune) having immediate appeal and easy to remember.

    ‘a hooky bass line’
    • ‘She's clearly found an appropriate songwriting partner with husband Bill Bell, and has enough hooky songs to counter her abundance of emotional ballads.’
    • ‘Earlier albums were often melodic yet somehow not catchy, but focused songwriting here makes the riffs memorably hooky.’
    • ‘Opener ‘Mornings Eleven’ starts with a hooky indie-pop riff and an impossibly catchy chorus.’
    • ‘It's a fabulous record, from the string of catchy tracks that opens the album to the slower six-minute ‘Fountain Song’ and the barrage of hooky tunes composing the latter half of the disc.’
    • ‘They make music that's fun and fresh, adding urban beats and hooky riffs to catchy rhythm lines and choruses that make you want to jump and shout.’
    • ‘Like his best work, the songs are irresistibly hooky without being simplistic, though the first single is oddly the weakest tune of the bunch.’
    • ‘Probably because they have been around for such a long time they have been able to hone their sound, smooth out the jagged edges in order to produce, insidious, hooky type pop tunes that lodge inside your brain.’
    • ‘Their set consisted of hooky pop gems that relied on guitar and punch for most of the power, and the mixture was a pleasing one.’
    • ‘Adams' melodic, hooky country-rock blends in nicely with the cool, sunny atmosphere of the island; it's really a great combination.’
    • ‘If they had decided to break from tradition and round out their hooky gems with massive percussion to balance out the wall of sound, the album would be nearly perfect.’
    • ‘The melodies here could hardly be called hooky or blatantly poppy, but they have a mantra-like quality that's infectious and slightly eerie.’
    • ‘I found those songs kinda catchy and hooky and it made an enormous impact on me.’
    • ‘The new songs have strong, hooky melodies, but very personal, intimate lyrics.’
    • ‘Like their last album it takes a couple of listens before it really starts to appeal, as the songs aren't very hooky.’
    • ‘But it was Paul Weller's seductively hooky tune that propelled the record to the summit, and it was only when you listened carefully to the lyrics that you realised this was in fact a supremely angry protest song.’
    • ‘We write very hooky, accessible tunes; we are big fans of the pop song.’

Pronunciation

hooky

/ˈhʊki//ˈho͝okē/