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The common noun and verb are taken from the brand name Hoover of one of the first vacuum cleaners.


hoover (plural hoovers)

  1. A vacuum cleaner (irrespective of brand).



hoover (third-person singular simple present hoovers, present participle hoovering, simple past and past participle hoovered)

  1. (transitive, UK) To clean (a room, etc) with a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    • 2008, Stella Rimington, Secret Asset, page 210:
      In the freshly hoovered living room of her house in Wokingham, Thelma Dawnton was distinctly miffed.
    I need to hoover this room.
  2. (intransitive, UK) To use a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    My husband is upstairs, hoovering.
  3. (transitive) To suck in or inhale, as if by a vacuum cleaner.
    • 1998 Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, Anchor Books, p. 8
      ...organisms called hantaviruses, which swarm in the micro-haze above the feces of mice and rats and are hoovered into the human respiratory system by anyone unlucky enough to stick a breathing orifice near them...

Derived terms[edit]



  • hoover” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.