Benjamin Lawson, born 1925, U.S. lawyer, clergyman, and civil-rights advocate: executive director of the NAACP 1977–93.
a curved or angular piece of metal or other hard substance for catching, pulling, holding, or suspending something.
a fishhook.
anything that catches; snare; trap.
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.
a recurved and pointed organ or appendage of an animal or plant.
a 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.
a ball describing such a path.

Boxing. a short, circular punch delivered with the elbow bent.

Also called flag, 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.

Metalworking. an accidental short bend formed in a piece of bar stock during rolling.
hooks, Slang. hands or fingers:
Get your hooks off that cake!
Underworld Slang. a pickpocket.
Also called deck hook. Nautical. a triangular plate or knee that binds together the stringers and plating at each end of a vessel.
to seize, fasten, suspend from, pierce, or catch hold of and draw with or as if with a hook.
to catch (fish) with a fishhook.
Slang. to steal or seize by stealth.
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.
to catch hold of and draw (loops of yarn) through cloth with or as if with a hook.
to make (a rug, garment, etc.) in this fashion.
Sports. to hit or throw (a ball) so that a hook results.
Boxing. to deliver a hook with:
The champion hooked a right to his opponent’s jaw.
Rugby. to push (a ball) backward with the foot in scrummage from the front line.
to make hook-shaped; crook.
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.
(of a ball) to describe a hook in course.

Slang. to depart hastily:
We’d better hook for home.
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, meet, or become associated with:
He never had a decent job until he hooked up with this company.
Informal. to have casual sex or a romantic date without a long-term commitment:
He doesn’t know her very well, but he hooked up with her a couple of times.

by hook or by crook, by any means, whether just or unjust, legal or illegal.
Also, by hook or crook.
get / give the hook, Informal. to receive or subject to a dismissal:
The rumor is that he got the hook.
hook it, Slang. to run away; depart; flee:
He hooked it when he saw the truant officer.
hook, line, and sinker, Informal. entirely; completely:
He fell for the story—hook, line, and sinker.
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:
Her brother paid all her bills and got her off the hook.
Slang. extremely or shockingly excellent:
Wow, that song is off the hook!

on one’s own hook, Informal. on one’s own initiative or responsibility; independently.
on the hook, Slang.

obliged; committed; 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.

Slang. to work as a prostitute.
Contemporary Examples

Psy on New Single ‘Gentleman,’ Kim Jong-un, Justin Bieber & More Marlow Stern April 28, 2013
For Presidential Hopefuls, the Handwriting Says It All Sheila Kurtz January 10, 2012
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014
The Ballad of Johnny France Richard Ben Cramer January 11, 2014
‘Zoobiquity’: What Animals Can Teach Us About Our Health Carl Zimmer June 16, 2012

Historical Examples

A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) Augustus De Morgan
Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
Look Back on Happiness Knut Hamsun
Boys’ Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
Camp and Trail Stewart Edward White

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
(mainly 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

(boxing) a short swinging blow delivered from the side with the elbow bent
(cricket) a shot in which the ball is hit square on the leg side with the bat held horizontally
(golf) a shot that causes the ball to swerve sharply from right to left
(surfing) the top of a breaking wave
(hockey:Ice) Also called hookcheck. the act of hooking an opposing player
(music) a stroke added to the stem of a written or printed note to indicate time values shorter than a crotchet
a catchy musical phrase in a pop song
another name for a sickle
a nautical word for anchor
by hook or crook, by hook or by crook, by any means
(US & Canadian, slang) get the hook, to be dismissed from employment
(informal) hook, line, and sinker, completely: he fell for it hook, line, and sinker
off the hook

(slang) out of danger; free from obligation or guilt
(of a telephone receiver) not on the support, so that incoming calls cannot be received

(slang, mainly US) on one’s own hook, on one’s own initiative
(slang) on the hook

in a dangerous or difficult situation

(Brit, slang) sling one’s hook, to leave
(often foll 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) (of bulls, elks, etc) to catch or gore with the horns
(transitive) to make (a rug) by hooking yarn through a stiff fabric backing with a special instrument
(transitive) often foll by down. to cut (grass or herbage) with a sickle: to hook down weeds
(boxing) to hit (an opponent) with a hook
(hockey:Ice) to impede (an opposing player) by catching hold of him with the stick
(golf) to play (a ball) with a hook
(rugby) to obtain and pass (the ball) backwards from a scrum to a member of one’s team, using the feet
(cricket) to play (a ball) with a hook
(transitive) (informal) to trick
(transitive) a slang word for steal
(slang) hook it, to run or go quickly away

An anchor (1940s+ Nautical)
A curveball (1910+ Baseball)
A hypodermic needle or bent pin used for injecting a narcotic (1950s+ Narcotics)
A narcotic, esp heroin (1950s+ Narcotics)
A prostitute; hooker: Janie Ruth looked at the hook (1915+)
Something that strongly attracts, esp something catchy in the lyrics or music of a song: The musicians push a good hook, a high, ragged guitar line/ You just won’t tell me much at a time about life. It’s your hook/ There are no hooks, either, like the mechanical bull or dancing (1930+)
A patron; a helpful connection: Why have I been in a radio car for over twenty years? Because I don’t have a hook (1980s+ Police)
A grade of C (1960s+ Students)

To steal, esp to shoplift: Hooking merchandise from department stores requires no training (1615+)
To get; find: Where can we hook a good meal around here? (1940s+)
To arrest; stop and ticket: My cab driver got hooked for speeding (1920s+)
To entice successfully; procure more or less against one’s will: They hooked me for the main speech (1764+)
To cheat; deceive •Most often in the passive voice: He got hooked into paying the whole bill (1940s+)
To work as a prostitute; whore: They stress the fact that they strip and don’t hook/ Carl supplemented their income by hooking from the notorious bus bench (1959+)
To drink, esp quickly at a gulp: You pour a half-glass of Dewar’s, hook it down and fan out the flames with a bottle of beer (1880s+)

hook or crook
hook up


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