Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What's the difference between meet up, meet and hook up as a synonym of meet up?

The Free Dictionary has the following definitions:

  • to meet up: to see and talk to someone familiar or someone you do not know: "Let's meet up for drinks after work."
  • to hook up: to meet someone and spend time together: "I was traveling alone, but then I hooked up with another woman about my age."

These definitions are really similar. What is the subtle difference between these three words?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Hook up in common American parlance (among the under forty set) means to engage in sexual acts.

Meet (in this context) and meet up mean meet, that is, connect at a time and place.

share|improve this answer
Yeah, you don't want to say "hook up" if you mean "meet up", that's just awkward. –  McGarnagle Oct 19 '12 at 4:54
Two people can also hook up on Facebook. A drug peddler might hook me up with my weekly supply of crack cocaine. –  coleopterist Oct 19 '12 at 6:35
Depends on context. Hooked up can also mean formed (or joined) a team, like in these instances. It doesn't always have a sexual connotation. –  J.R. Oct 19 '12 at 8:47
what's the difference between this hook up (without sexual connotation) and meet up? –  user42912 Oct 19 '12 at 9:46
This says two people begin doing something together. Two other suggestions by coleopterist and J.R. I would avoid it because of ambiguity unless you were explicit about the nature of the hook-up. –  bib Oct 19 '12 at 12:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.