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(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.
Slang. marijuana.
Contemporary Examples

Baseball’s Greatest Player? Allen Barra February 18, 2010
Why Palestinians Welcomed Fayyad’s Resignation Maysoon Zayid April 15, 2013
‘Kahane For Kids’ Elisheva Goldberg November 4, 2012
Joaquin Phoenix’s Gonzo Act Gina Piccalo September 7, 2010
Burqas, Bikinis, and BS Christopher Dickey April 11, 2011

Historical Examples

The Boy Settlers Noah Brooks
Cy Whittaker’s Place Joseph C. Lincoln
The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy
The Explorer W. Somerset Maugham
Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4 Work Projects Administration

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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