Hooves or hoofs

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Hooves is the plural form of hoof, the horny part of an animal’s foot, especially, a horse.  Hoof comes from the Old English word, hof. The plural of hof is hofas, which when pronounced, would have sounded like hooves.

Hoofs is also a plural form of hoof, the horny part of an animal’s foot. Hoofs is a much older rendering of the plural form of hoof.  While still considered correct by many dictionaries, the actual use of the word hoofs is rare.

Hooves has become the much preferred plural form of hoof over the last century.


It seemed like an eternity but soon I could sense his hooves getting traction on the ground and we were clambering up the muddy bank the far side. (The Irish Times)

Del Mar’s first run on its new dirt for real could not have gone any better as the seaside track kicked off its 76th racing season with the traditional beach party mix of wild hats, pounding hooves and booze and even Caitlyn Jenner and her entourage. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

She took a dramatic tumble when horse Let It Bee’s front hooves grazed the second jump at Will O’ Wind Farm in Mono, which has been dubbed the Pan Am Cross-Country Centre for the competition’s duration. (The Cambridge Times)

In 1997, a person driving through Pluckley around 7pm was suddenly overwhelmed by the sound of horses’ hooves on cobbles inside their car. (The Sun)

It was “a creature of undetermined taxonomy that I think has wings and maybe hoofs and horns,” Zinn said. (The Duluth News Tribune)

He will take custom-made stilts, prosthetic hoofs and a foam-latex mask to transform his brother, Alec, into a 7-foot-tall, half-goat, half-human wizard named the Oracle, he said. (The Wall Street Journal)

The most elaborate creation, “Fortitudo,” involves an acrobat somersaulting over a white horse with a ruffly black mane, wiry legs and hoofs like petals. (The Hamilton Spectator)

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