hoof (hf, hf)
n.pl. hooves(hvz, hvz) or hoofs
a. The horny sheath covering the toes or lower part of the foot of a mammal of the orders Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla, such as a horse, ox, or deer.
b. The foot of such an animal, especially a horse.
2. Slang The human foot.
v.hoofed, hoof·ing, hoofs
To trample with the hooves.
1. To dance, especially as a professional.
2. To go on foot; walk.
1. To walk.
2. To dance.
on the hoof
Not yet butchered; alive. Used especially of cattle.
[Middle Englishhof, fromOld Englishhōf.]
(click for a larger image)hoof
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.