(used to express contempt or disapprobation or to startle or frighten).
an exclamation of contempt or disapproval:
a loud boo from the bleachers.
to cry boo in derision.
to show disapproval of by booing.
Contemporary Examples

Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up Tom Boswell September 26, 2014
What a Sad Little Empire Britain Has Become Janine di Giovanni March 21, 2013
Dutch Treat: The Netherlands Sinks Spain In World Cup 2014 Tunku Varadarajan June 12, 2014
Paris Hilton’s Gay Grindr Gaffe and 8 Other Worst Moments (VIDEO) Kevin Fallon September 19, 2012
Obama’s Fighting Chance Michael Tomasky September 22, 2011

Historical Examples

The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
The Hero of Garside School J. Harwood Panting
Seeing Things at Night Heywood Broun
The Story of My Life Ellen Terry
Gladiator Philip Wylie

an exclamation uttered to startle or surprise someone, esp a child
a shout uttered to express disgust, dissatisfaction, or contempt, esp at a theatrical production, political meeting, etc
would not say boo to a goose, is extremely timid or diffident
verb boos, booing, booed
to shout “boo” at (someone or something), esp as an expression of disgust, dissatisfaction, or disapproval: to boo the actors

To be able to say Bo! to a goose is to be not quite destitute of courage, to have an inkling of spirit, and was probably in the first instance used of children. A little boy who comes across some geese suddenly will find himself hissed at immediately, and a great demonstration of defiance made by them, but if he can pluck up heart to cry ‘bo!’ loudly and advance upon them, they will retire defeated. The word ‘bo’ is clearly selected for the sake of the explosiveness of its first letter and the openness and loudness of its vowel. [Walter W. Skeat, “Cry Bo to a Goose, “Notes and Queries,” 4th series vi Sept. 10, 1870]

An exclamation of disapproval, the equivalent of a hiss (1890s+)
A supposedly frightening exclamation, such as a ghost might give: She jumped out of the closet and hollered ”Boo!” (1940s+)

Bootes (constellation)


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