1. A play in which a pass is lobbed above the basket and a player jumps up and attempts to catch the ball and score before returning to the floor.
2. The pass made in such a play.
Used to signal the start of a strenuous activity, such as lifting.
[French allez-oop, cry of circus acrobat about to leap, from allez, pl. imperative of aller, to go, from Old French aler, to walk; see ALLEY1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.