Definition of ooh in US English:



  • Used to express a range of emotions including surprise, delight, or pain.

    ‘ooh, this is fun’
    ‘ooh, my feet!’
    • ‘Plenty creepy, and there was all sorts of atmospheric sound going on that made it even creepier: the creeeeaky apartment door, the echoes of people walking up the stairs above us, and distant sirens - ooh!’
    • ‘As usual, I start looking around way too far in advance (I'm not even thinking about giving notice until April) but ooh, this building looks lovely… they accept pets and everything!’
    • ‘I got there early, left late, and was surrounded by swarms of nubile young tourists on a sweltering hot day and… ooh!’
    • ‘And that girl you were chatting up Saturday night, Tim, didn't you say she was about, ooh… twenty?’
    • ‘My bracelet is silver, so no gold please. update: ooh ooh ooh!’
    • ‘Then that dot gets bigger, until finally it grows arms and a head… We started yelling, ooh, ahh, I want to kill somebody.’
    • ‘There was a swap meet ahead of time, and ooh ooh ooh!’
    • ‘If my typing seems unusually quirky and vivacious this morning, it's because I just installed a new wireless keyboard and mouse. ooh!’
    • ‘Eva's sleeping on the bed on the other side of the cabin, and she's sprawled all over my bed, and on the kitchen counter, there's ooh!’
    • ‘It was this program that alerted otherwise unimaginative network execs to an apparently untapped demand for the weird, and trained viewers to accept that sometimes, nothing makes se - ooh!’
    • ‘Upgrade by downloading a browser that supports web standards, and chances are that you'll have a far better online experience not only on this site, but - ooh, I dunno - at least ten or twelve others.’
    • ‘Yes, do you really think I'll learn the relaxed jester grin in no time - ooh!’
    • ‘No, I really don't need my body right about now, not with this blistering pain arching through my wrists and arms and shoulders and… and… ooh, endorphins, now my spine feels all stretchy and spready.’
    • ‘Few people like to be told that they can't pay attention for more than - ooh!’
    • ‘But ooh, yes, what a pleasant surprise. Definitely weird and a teeny bit twisted - but also very listenable.’
    • ‘You're feet - ooh, your feet - well, they've been whimpering ever since Southwark.’
    • ‘I wish it were Christmas, with the family and gifts and wassail and - ooh! the music.’
    • ‘Everytime I think of the way he ran his fingers down my back… ooh!’
    • ‘No; there can be as many angels in the same place as want to be, because spirit - ooh!’


  • An utterance of ‘ooh’

    ‘the oohs and aahs of the enthusiastic audience’
    • ‘This gets lots of oohs and aahs, since most people have never seen, or rather never noticed, a double star before.’
    • ‘As Lorraine and fellow instructor, Katie, led us through a small channel to a series of calmer bays there were oohs and aahs from the group.’
    • ‘We gave up and I went to M15 instead, which also got lots of oohs and aahs.’
    • ‘They could easily go to sleep to the murmuring oohs and aahs of connoisseurs and pedants.’
    • ‘I began collecting craft books in early November, eagerly anticipating the barrage of oohs and aahs coming my way from admiring December guests.’
    • ‘But Catriona Matthew, in Wie's company for a first time in yesterday's third round of the Safeway International, refused to be distracted by the oohs and aahs that accompany the teenager's every shot.’
    • ‘As I stepped onto the pavement, a thunderous roar ripped across the sky and the crowds looked up shouting oohs and aahs normally reserved for local council firework displays.’
    • ‘This was most spectacular gaining oohs and aahs of admiration from everyone.’
    • ‘The Diva emerged after intermission in a dream of white crepe and glitter to oohs and aahs and encouraged the audience to read the text to the Berg songs.’
    • ‘The first ever Museum of Modern Art reopened its doors last month and among the oohs and aahs over its new Manhattan building could be heard an undeniable, niggling caveat.’
    • ‘Normally on such trips my notes run to lavish hotel trappings, distances between monuments and the number of oohs and aahs per scenic vista.’
    • ‘A concert on the courthouse steps will feature the wonderful creations of Galway-based group Macmas, with giant spiders and humorous characters guaranteed to create lots of oohs and aahs from the public.’
    • ‘Wilkinson then brought some oohs and aahs from the crowd with one of his trademark big hits on Utterson, but as the game entered the last quarter, England were simply going through the motions.’
    • ‘Think of burning bushes or Von Daniken's revelations and you can almost hear the oohs and aahs of some divine miracle.’
    • ‘There were oohs and aahs on the steps of St. Conleth's Park, Newbridge last Wednesday week, when the draw for the SFC pitted old and deadly rivals Round Towers and Ellistown in the quarterfinals.’
    • ‘There's nothing spectacular about one's birth, except for all the oohs and aahs from various aunts and uncles.’
    • ‘All added to the excitement and sense of discovery to hear their oohs and aahs.’
    • ‘And it wasn't only the pageant that drew oohs and aahs from the spectators.’
    • ‘I felt very sophisticated walking around the Coliseum, listening to the oohs and aahs about the refurbishment, and the gasps about the cornucopia of Ladies' loos.’
    • ‘The movie - with its far-reaching effects and stunning vistas - brought out the oohs and aahs from the 200 people who'd lined up for a half-hour to see it.’


[no object]
  • Utter such an exclamation.

    ‘visitors oohed and aahed at the Christmas tree’
    • ‘Our ragtag party of seven probably didn't look very hip sitting at the long centre table, oohing and aahing at the surroundings.’
    • ‘While oohing and aahing over the stars, we fancy that those are the same constellations that the ancient Greek philosophers once admired and pondered over.’
    • ‘After oohing and aahing at the view (even me, vertigo-on-a-staircase man), we grappled with the extensive, if not adventurous, menu.’
    • ‘Anyway, after we had driven down the road a bit, oohing and aahing at the houses on this unknown section of road, we came across this house with this lovely pool.’
    • ‘Actually, people weren't really oohing and ahhing over the shirt because it was black.’
    • ‘The two that have significant others were oohing and ahhing over the way I looked, and I wasn't trying to show off; I had my jacket somewhat in front of me and my head down.’
    • ‘I'll be on the carport roof with my ice cream sandwich oohing and aahing with the best of them, providing a mouth watering target for my paranoid, Holden driving, gun-toting neighbours.’
    • ‘The touring relatives were babbling and oohing and aahing and calling out to each other as they started to wonder off among the aisles in search of more edible curios.’
    • ‘In fact, I've said as much from the depths of a battered sofa - oohing and aahing, swooning even - over his food, cleanliness, new hairdo, posh voice and green top.’
    • ‘Everyone immediately forgot my stunning knitting achievements and began oohing and ahhing over her knitting.’
    • ‘I remember thinking, Pfft whatever… there's no point oohing and aahing over the view and wishing I was outside.’
    • ‘One of the world's greatest ever goalkeepers had students oohing and aahing in Rathdowney last week.’
    • ‘So the other day, I noticed a large group of people oohing and ahhing around one guy's computer.’
    • ‘Across Cavenagh Bridge, dotted with tourists oohing and aahing at the view of the Esplanade, facing one way, and down the quays, facing the other.’
    • ‘I sat on my bed, oohing and aahing over every tiny piece of adorable newborn clothing - the little kimonos, the wee little hats, the tiny little tee shirts - until I pulled out a ratty Ace bandage.’
    • ‘And then she realised that the real-life prince she'd been oohing and aahing over all episode is a hideous inbred fug sporting a nose you could cut wood with.’
    • ‘It is a piece of music I adore, but I wasn't able fully to appreciate it, because I was silently oohing and aahing at the mirror effect.’
    • ‘The audience was constantly oohing and ahhing at the magic of the play.’
    • ‘PR is the most imperfect science since astrology, yet publicists remain addicted to happenings that might cause journalists to ooh and ahh delightedly over what they are shown.’
    • ‘Let's all rush out now and get hold of whatever stocks of telescopes, binoculars and magnifying glasses we can, crowd the streets at midnight and ooh!’


Natural exclamation: first recorded in English in the early 20th century.