WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
hook1 /hʊk/USA pronunciation
n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- 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.
- a fishhook.
- something that attracts attention:Their sales hook was the promise of easy payments.
- 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.
Sport(in boxing) a short circular punch delivered with the elbow bent:a left hook to the jaw.
- a ball moving in such a path.
- 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.
- to connect to a power source: [~ + up + object]I hooked up the computer.[~ + object + up]I hooked the computer up.
off the hook:
- Idiomsby hook or (by) crook, by any means whatsoever:By hook or by crook he'll be there.
- Idioms, Informal Termshook, line, and sinker, [Informal.]entirely; completely:believed the story hook, line, and sinker.
- 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.
- a curved or angular piece of metal or other hard substance for catching, pulling, holding, or suspending something.
- a fishhook.
- anything that catches;
- 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.
- something having a sharp curve, bend, or angle at one end, as a mark or symbol.
- a sharp curve or angle in the length or course of anything.
- a curved arm of land jutting into the water; a curved peninsula:Sandy Hook.
- Botany, Zoologya recurved and pointed organ or appendage of an animal or plant.
- Clothinga small curved catch inserted into a loop to form a clothes fastener.
- 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.
Sport[Boxing.]a short, circular punch delivered with the elbow bent.
- a ball describing such a path.
- Also called pennant. a stroke or line attached to the stem of eighth notes, sixteenth notes, etc.
Metallurgy[Metalworking.]an accidental short bend formed in a piece of bar stock during rolling.
Slang Termshooks, [Slang.]hands or fingers:Get your hooks off that cake!
[Underworld Jargon.]a pickpocket.
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.
Idiomsby hook or by crook, by any means, whether just or unjust, legal or illegal. Also,by hook or crook.
get or give the hook, [Informal.]to receive or subject to a dismissal:The rumor is that he got the hook.
Informal Termshook, line, and sinker, [Informal.]entirely; completely:He fell for the story—hook, line, and sinker.
off the hook:
- an appealing melodic phrase, orchestral ornament, refrain, etc., often important to a popular song's commercial success.
- out of trouble;
released from some difficulty:This time there was no one around to get him off the hook.
Informal Termson one's own hook, [Informal.]on one's own initiative or responsibility; independently.
on the hook, [Slang.]
- free of obligation:His brother paid all his bills and got him off the hook.
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;
- to become attached or fastened by or as if by a hook.
- to curve or bend like a hook.
- (of a player) to hook the ball.
Slang Terms[Slang.]to depart hastily:We'd better hook for home.
Slang Termshook it, [Slang.]to run away; depart;
- (of a ball) to describe a hook in course.
flee:He hooked it when he saw the truant officer.
- 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.
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
- Slang Terms[Slang.]to work as a prostitute.
Etymology:back formation from hooker1
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
hook /hʊk/ n
- a piece of material, usually metal, curved or bent and used to suspend, catch, hold, or pull something
- short for fish-hook
- a trap or snare
- chiefly US something that attracts or is intended to be an attraction
- something resembling a hook in design or use
- a sharp bend or angle in a geological formation, esp a river
- a sharply curved spit of land
- a short swinging blow delivered from the side with the elbow bent
- a shot in which the ball is hit square on the leg side with the bat held horizontally
- a shot that causes the ball to swerve sharply from right to left
- the top of a breaking wave
- Also called: hookcheck the act of hooking an opposing player
- a stroke added to the stem of a written or printed note to indicate time values shorter than a crotchet
- another name for a sickle
- a nautical word for anchor
- by hook or crook, by hook or by crook ⇒ by any means
- hook, line, and sinker ⇒ informal completely: he fell for it hook, line, and sinker
- off the hook ⇒ slang out of danger; free from obligation or guilt
- sling one's hook ⇒ Brit slang to leave
Etymology: Old English hōc; related to Middle Dutch hōk, Old Norse haki
- (often followed by up) to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a hook or hooks
- (transitive) to catch (something, such as a fish) on a hook
- to curve like or into the shape of a hook
- (transitive) to make (a rug) by hooking yarn through a stiff fabric backing with a special instrument
- to hit (an opponent) with a hook
- to play (a ball) with a hook
'hook' also found in these entries: