noun, plural bal·ly·hoos.

  1. a clamorous and vigorous attempt to win customers or advance any cause; blatant advertising or publicity.
  2. clamor or outcry.
  3. a halfbeak, Hemiramphus brasiliensis, inhabiting both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

verb (used with or without object), bal·ly·hooed, bal·ly·hoo·ing.

  1. to advertise or push by ballyhoo.

noun informal

  1. a noisy, confused, or nonsensical situation or uproar
  2. sensational or blatant advertising or publicity

verb -hoos, -hooing or -hooed

  1. (tr) mainly US to advertise or publicize by sensational or blatant methods

“publicity, hype,” 1908, from circus slang, “a short sample of a sideshow” (1901), of unknown origin. There is a village of Ballyhooly in County Cork, Ireland. In nautical lingo, ballahou or ballahoo (1867, perhaps 1836) meant “an ungainly vessel,” from Spanish balahu “schooner.”

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