The Meaning of Noose: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of noose? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word noose, including its definition, usage, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word noose mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as dictionaries like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word noose is a noun that refers to a loop with a slip knot that can bind closer as it is more drawn, or this can reference something that snares like a noose. The word noose can also be used as a verb to refer to something that can be secured by a noose, or to make a noose out of. Different tenses of this verb include noosed and noosing using the suffixes ed and ing. This is considered a transitive verb. The pronunciation of noose is nuːs.

The word noose is commonly used in reference to binds or hanging by the end of a rope or cord. The knot tightens by the means of a slipknot, also sometimes called a running knot, hangman’s noose, hangman’s knot, or hangman’s halter. The United States of America has a storied history of the noose with regard to African Americans, especially before the Civil War, according to Jack Shuler at CNN, the author of the book The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose. These nooses were often made of hemp. The hempen necktie of the hangman’s rope hung in an oval shape at the end of a cord. The small slip noose would clinch and clench horrifically around the victim. The history of lynchings using nooses and otherwise is pure hatred. Even today, some white students at high school threaten black students with forms of nooses and even a guillotine. Black students must often fight hook and nail to be treated equally.

Many different languages also contain words that mean noose. Some of these words look and sound similar to one another; these are called cognates, which are usually formed when two words have the same language of origin or root word. This list of translations of noose is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Slovak: oprátka‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: hurok‎
  •  Catalan: llaç‎
  •  Mandarin: 環‎, 环‎ (huán), 繯‎, 缳‎ (huán)
  •  Russian: пе́тля‎ (fem.), петля́‎ (fem.)
  •  Welsh: dolen‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: löpsnara‎ (common), rännsnara‎ (common)
  •  Romanian: laț‎, ștreang‎ (neut.)
  •  Slovene: zanka‎ (fem.)
  •  Dutch: strop‎
  •  German: Schlinge‎ (fem.)
  •  Danish: løkke‎
  •  Czech: oprátka‎ (fem.)
  •  Portuguese: laço‎ (masc.), forca‎ (fem.)
  •  Maori: kōpeti‎, koromahanga‎, kono‎
  •  Finnish: silmukka‎, juoksusilmukka‎
  •  Icelandic: lykkja‎ (fem.), rennilykkja‎ (fem.)
  •  Belarusian: пятля‎ (fem.)
  •  Greek: θηλιά‎ (fem.)
  •  Burmese: ညွှတ်‎, ကြိုးကွင်း‎, ကွင်းလျှော‎
  •  Latin: laqueus‎
  •  Italian: cappio‎ (masc.), m
  •  French: nœud coulant‎ (masc.), lacs‎
  •  Roman: petlja‎ (fem.)
  •  Albanian: lak‎ (masc.)
  •  Navajo: łoh‎
  •  Aromanian: alats‎
  •  Cyrillic: петља‎ (fem.)
  •  Norwegian: renneløkke‎ (common), rennesnare‎ (common), løkke‎ (fem.)
  •  Persian: خفت‎ (xeft)
  •  Irish: dol‎
  •  Polish: pętla‎ (fem.), stryczek‎ (masc.)
  •  Ukrainian: петля́‎ (fem.)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: lùb‎ (fem.)
  •  Japanese: 輪縄‎ (わなわ, wanawa)
  •  Spanish: dogal‎ (masc.)

See if you can determines what languages the following words are in: 套索 петля फांस petlja löp аркан پھندا den kopf 올가미 kilpa cilpa tali जाल hvatati oko die schlinge. Disclaimer – you might need to use a German Dictionary, French electronic resource, Italian Dictionary 1st Edition, Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, or another dictionary in any number of editions, including a 12th edition, fifth edition, unabridged 7th edition, and more.

How can the word noose be used in a sentence?

The word noose can be used in many ways in American English and UK English. Try using this word in a sentence, making flashcards or a quiz to help you learn the definition of this adjustable loop of rope. Below are a few different examples of noose that can help you understand this word’s meaning. 

The man tried to use the device called a hangman’s rope or noose to catch the small mammals, but he was a poor hunter. He needed to fix his skills and gaze.

The students at Louisiana Denison University were given the ax after a twisted prank involving a noose. They were required to un-register from the classes, and there was a lock placed on their dorm. This was similar to a previous incident at Princeton University, also involving a load of racial tension.

The publishers at Harpercollins Publishers were tackling a copyright claim surrounding an illustration of a noose that people believed was racist.

What is the word origin of the word noose?

According to Etymonline, the word noose has been used since the mid-15th century Middle English nose, nus, or noos. This may come from the Old French nos or Old Provençal nous,  oth of this mean knot. These come from the Latin nodus meaning knot, from the Proto-Indo-European root ned meaning to bind or tie. This word was rarely used before 1600. From this, we get the related word node.

What are synonyms for the word noose?

There are a few different words and phrases that a person can use in place of the word noose. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself, or if you are looking to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word noose is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  Lasso
  •  Loop
  •  Tie
  •  Hitch
  •  Snare
  •  Lariat
  •  Trap 

Overall, the word noose, sometimes called a hangman’s rope, refers to a slip knot formed at the end of a rope or cord. This forms an oval-shaped curve. This comes from the Latin nōdus node and Old French nous knot. 


  1. Noose | Definition of Noose | Merriam-Webster 
  2. noose: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. NOOSE Synonyms: 6 Synonyms & Antonyms for NOOSE | Thesaurus 
  4. Why the noose is such a potent symbol of hate | CNN