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.
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.
- a ball moving in such a path.
- to connect to a power source: [~ + up + object]I hooked up the computer.[~ + object + up]I hooked the computer up.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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;
- subjected to a delaying tactic;
waiting:We've had him on the hook for two weeks now.
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: