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A Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner from the collection of Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, in Birmingham in the West Midlands, England, United Kingdom


From Hoover, the brand name of one of the first vacuum cleaners, which was sold by The Hoover Company. The American company was founded by William Henry Hoover (1849–1932) and his son Herbert William Hoover, Sr. (1877–1954). The surname Hoover is an Anglicized version of the German Huber, originally designating a landowner or a prosperous small-scale farmer.



hoover ‎(plural hoovers)

  1. (chiefly Britain) A vacuum cleaner (irrespective of brand).



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

  1. (transitive, Britain) To clean (a room, etc.) with a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    I need to hoover this room.
  2. (intransitive, Britain) 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, chapter 1, in A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, New York, N.Y.: Anchor Books, ISBN 978-0-307-27946-0, page 8:
      Then there is the little-known family of 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—by lying down, say, on a sleeping platform over which infected mice have recently scampered.

Derived terms[edit]


  • (transitive sense): to vacuum



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