Definition of heave-ho in English:



informal the heave-ho
  • Dismissal or elimination from a job, institution, or contest.

    ‘conjecture over who'll get the heave-ho’
    • ‘Give pretzels the heave-ho but don't dismiss whole-grain breads.’
    • ‘Therefore, attrition rates at IT companies should also differentiate between those who are leaving voluntarily for greener pastures and those who have been given the heave-ho.’
    • ‘After her high school sweetheart gives her the heave-ho, she pins her dreams of seeing the world on becoming a flight attendant.’
    • ‘Next time you get the heave ho, or give the heave-ho, don't get all bitter and depressed; get sentimental and maudlin!’
    • ‘The broomstick and the pointy hat have been given the heave-ho but, according to Diana, there are still some telltale signs.’
    • ‘His popularity continues to drop, and he'll be given the heave-ho before long.’
    • ‘Should the British ever give the monarchy the heave-ho we'd just have to rename it Republic Day.’
    • ‘What a tragedy it would be if such hard-to-come-by individuals were given the heave-ho because of a drafting error in local electoral law.’
    • ‘But trust me, the sooner you give this clown the heave-ho, the better you'll sleep.’
    • ‘Complaints fly, Kemball gets the heave-ho, but no money is reimbursed.’
    • ‘They got the heave-ho from a guy in a black suit and an earpiece impersonating a Secret Service officer.’
    • ‘Isn't today the day to give a stack of old newspapers or magazines the heave-ho?’
    • ‘There are so many exciting and widely available varieties of salad greens today that it's time to give iceberg lettuce (a nutritional zero) the heave-ho.’
    • ‘My man and I gave each other the heave-ho this week.’
    • ‘Too softhearted to give it the heave-ho, I put it out of sight behind a toolshed.’
    • ‘I keep a very tiny email inbox just for that reason, so I'm forced on a regular basis to give a lot of old messages the big heave-ho.’
    • ‘Mike has been strutting around like the King Peacock for the last hour knowing that he is immune from the big heave-ho.’
    • ‘His seat is quite ‘safe’ now, so wouldn't it be interesting if his own electorate suddenly decided to give him the old heave-ho for no apparent reason?’
    • ‘But you really do yearn for some of those dreadful, impossible-to-solve, utterly boring, handicaps to get the old heave-ho.’
    • ‘They go on about how important Monaco is to the history of F1 racing, but they were ready to give Silverstone the old heave-ho, the circuit that hosted the very first F1 Grand Prix in world history.’


  • Used when lifting or pulling something heavy.


Late Middle English from heave!(imperative) + ho, originally in nautical use when hauling a rope.