WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
hook1 /hʊk/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a curved or angled piece of metal or other hard substance for catching, pulling, or suspending something:I hung my coat up on the hook.
  2. a fishhook.
  3. something that attracts attention:Their sales hook was the promise of easy payments.
  4. something having a sharp curve, bend, or angle at one end:a hook in the road.
      • the path of a ball, as in baseball, that curves in a direction opposite to the throwing hand or to the side of the ball from which it was struck.
      • a ball moving in such a path.
  5. Sport(in boxing) a short circular punch delivered with the elbow bent:a left hook to the jaw.

  • to seize, fasten, or catch hold of with or as if with a hook: [+ object]She hooked her arm through mine.[no object]The buttons hook easily to their fastenings.
  • Sport to catch (fish) with a fishhook[+ object]I had hooked a huge trout.
  • Slang Terms[Slang.]to steal or seize secretly[+ object]hooked a few watches before the manager returned.
  • Sportto hit or throw (a ball) so that a hook results: [no object]The next pitch hooked over the plate for a strike.[+ object]The pitcher hooked the next pitch outside.
  • to curve or bend like a hook[no object]The road hooked to the left and then sharply to the right.
  • hook up: 
      • to connect to a power source: [+ up + object]I hooked up the computer.[+ object + up]I hooked the computer up.
    1. Idiomsby hook or (by) crook, by any means whatsoever:By hook or by crook he'll be there.
    2. Idioms, Informal Termshook, line, and sinker, [Informal.]entirely; completely:believed the story hook, line, and sinker.
    off the hook: 
      • released from some difficulty, problem, or obligation:You're off the hook: if things go wrong, you won't be blamed.
      • (of a telephone receiver) not resting on the cradle.

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    hook1  (hŏŏk), 
    1. a curved or angular piece of metal or other hard substance for catching, pulling, holding, or suspending something.
    2. a fishhook.
    3. anything that catches;
    4. something that attracts attention or serves as an enticement:The product is good but we need a sales hook to get people to buy it.
    5. something having a sharp curve, bend, or angle at one end, as a mark or symbol.
    6. a sharp curve or angle in the length or course of anything.
    7. a curved arm of land jutting into the water; a curved peninsula:Sandy Hook.
    8. Botany, Zoologya recurved and pointed organ or appendage of an animal or plant.
    9. Clothinga small curved catch inserted into a loop to form a clothes fastener.
    10. [Sports.]
        • the path described by a ball, as in baseball, bowling, or golf, that curves in a direction opposite to the throwing hand or to the side of the ball from which it was struck.
        • a ball describing such a path.
    11. Sport[Boxing.]a short, circular punch delivered with the elbow bent.
    12. [Music.]
        • Also called pennant. a stroke or line attached to the stem of eighth notes, sixteenth notes, etc.
        • an appealing melodic phrase, orchestral ornament, refrain, etc., often important to a popular song's commercial success.
    13. Metallurgy[Metalworking.]an accidental short bend formed in a piece of bar stock during rolling.
    14. Slang Termshooks, [Slang.]hands or fingers:Get your hooks off that cake!
    15. [Underworld Jargon.]a pickpocket.
    16. Nautical, Naval TermsAlso called deck hook. [Naut.]a triangular plate or knee that binds together the stringers and plating at each end of a vessel.
    17. Idiomsby hook or by crook, by any means, whether just or unjust, legal or illegal. Also,by hook or crook. 
    18. get or give the hook, [Informal.]to receive or subject to a dismissal:The rumor is that he got the hook.
    19. Informal Termshook, line, and sinker, [Informal.]entirely; completely:He fell for the story—hook, line, and sinker.
    20. off the hook: 
        • out of trouble;
          released from some difficulty:This time there was no one around to get him off the hook.
        • free of obligation:His brother paid all his bills and got him off the hook.
    21. Informal Termson one's own hook, [Informal.]on one's own initiative or responsibility; independently.
    22. on the hook, [Slang.]
        • obliged;
          involved:He's already on the hook for $10,000.
        • subjected to a delaying tactic;
          waiting:We've had him on the hook for two weeks now.

  • to seize, fasten, suspend from, pierce, or catch hold of and draw with or as if with a hook.
  • Sportto catch (fish) with a fishhook.
  • Slang Terms[Slang.]to steal or seize by stealth.
  • Informal Terms[Informal.]to catch or trick by artifice; snare.
  • (of a bull or other horned animal) to catch on the horns or attack with the horns.
  • Clothingto catch hold of and draw (loops of yarn) through cloth with or as if with a hook.
  • Clothingto make (a rug, garment, etc.) in this fashion.
  • Sport[Sports.]to hit or throw (a ball) so that a hook results.
  • Sport[Boxing.]to deliver a hook with:The champion hooked a right to his opponent's jaw.
  • Sport[Rugby.]to push (a ball) backward with the foot in scrummage from the front line.
  • to make hook-shaped;

  • v.i. 
  • to become attached or fastened by or as if by a hook.
  • to curve or bend like a hook.
  • [Sports.]
      • (of a player) to hook the ball.
      • (of a ball) to describe a hook in course.
  • Slang Terms[Slang.]to depart hastily:We'd better hook for home.
  • Slang Termshook it, [Slang.]to run away; depart;
    flee:He hooked it when he saw the truant officer.
  • hook up: 
      • to fasten with a hook or hooks.
      • to assemble or connect, as the components of a machine:to hook up a stereo system.
      • to connect to a central source, as of power or water:The house hasn't been hooked up to the city's water system yet.
      • [Informal.]to join or become associated with:He never had a decent job until he hooked up with this company.
    Etymology:bef. 900;
    1830–40, American. for def. 19;
    Middle English hoke (noun, nominal and verb, verbal), Old English hōc (noun, nominal);
    cognate with Dutch hoek hook, angle, corner;
    akin to German Haken, Old Norse haki
    hookless, adj. 
    hooklike′, adj. 

    hook2  (hŏŏk), 
    1. Slang Terms[Slang.]to work as a prostitute.
    Etymology:back formation from hooker1

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    hook /hʊk/ n
    1. a piece of material, usually metal, curved or bent and used to suspend, catch, hold, or pull something
    2. short for fish-hook
    3. a trap or snare
    4. chiefly US something that attracts or is intended to be an attraction
    5. something resembling a hook in design or use
    6. a sharp bend or angle in a geological formation, esp a river
    7. a sharply curved spit of land
    8. a short swinging blow delivered from the side with the elbow bent
    9. a shot in which the ball is hit square on the leg side with the bat held horizontally
    10. a shot that causes the ball to swerve sharply from right to left
    11. the top of a breaking wave
    12. Also called: hookcheck the act of hooking an opposing player
    13. a stroke added to the stem of a written or printed note to indicate time values shorter than a crotchet
    14. another name for a sickle
    15. a nautical word for anchor
    16. by hook or crook, by hook or by crookby any means
    17. hook, line, and sinkerinformal completely: he fell for it hook, line, and sinker
    18. off the hookslang out of danger; free from obligation or guilt
    19. sling one's hookBrit slang to leave
    1. (often followed by up) to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a hook or hooks
    2. (transitive) to catch (something, such as a fish) on a hook
    3. to curve like or into the shape of a hook
    4. (transitive) to make (a rug) by hooking yarn through a stiff fabric backing with a special instrument
    5. to hit (an opponent) with a hook
    6. to play (a ball) with a hook
    Etymology: Old English hōc; related to Middle Dutch hōk, Old Norse haki

    'hook' also found in these entries:

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