American English

Definition of hook noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a curved piece of metal, plastic, or wire for hanging things on, catching fish with, etc. a picture/curtain/coat hook a fish hook Hang your towel on the hook. see also boathook
  2. 2(in boxing) a short hard blow that is made with the elbow bent a left hook to the jaw
  3. 3(in golf) a way of hitting the ball so that it curves sideways instead of going straight ahead
  4. 4a thing that is used to make people interested in something The images are used as a hook to get children interested in science. Well-chosen quotations can serve as a hook to catch the reader's interest.
  5. 5a part of a pop or rock song that makes it easy to remember There's an unforgettable hook in each and every song.
  6. Idioms
    by hook or by crook
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    using any method you can, even a dishonest one
    hook, line, and sinker
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    completely What I said wasn't true, but he fell for it (= believed it) hook, line, and sinker.
      off the hook (informal)
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    1. 1no longer in difficulty or trouble He apologized but she did not want to let him off the hook so easily. I don't think we're off the hook yet.
    2. 2if you leave or take the telephone off the hook, you take the receiver (= the part that you pick up) off the place where it usually rests, so that no one can call you
    ring off the hook
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    (usually used in the progressive tenses) (of a telephone) to ring many times The phone has been ringing off the hook with offers of help.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hook