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See also: Hoover


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner from the collection of Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, in Birmingham in the West Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Alternative forms[edit]


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, Ireland) A vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    • 2006, William Houston, Party Tricks for Dogs, Victoria, B.C.: Trafford Publishing, →ISBN:
      "What do you do about dogs that don't like Hoovers?" [] At the first opportunity place the Hoover in the area where your dog is lying calmly, and since it is normally the noise that sends it into those fits of anger, it should be unconcerned with a silent machine. Continue to place the Hoover in those areas that your pet is relaxing until it is familiar with the Hoover being in such close proximity. [] By continuing to distract your pet each time the Hoover is switched on but stationary, you should be able to move it a little closer without causing your pet any alarm.
    • 2011, Terry Jones, Evil Machines, Clerkenwell, London: Unbound, →ISBN:
      And the brooms lined up behind the buckets, and the dusters, dustpans, cloths and brushes, feather dusters and sweepers all lined up bravely to do battle with the thousand upright Hoovers. The Hoovers charged, engines roaring and bags fully inflated.
    • 2014, Guy Browning, How to Be Normal: A Guide for the Perplexed, London: Atlantic Books, →ISBN:
      Vacuuming the house is a very quick way of sprucing it up simply because you can use the hoover to push everything out of the way. Cleaning an average-size room is also the exercise equivalent of ten minutes on the Nordic Skier, while changing the hoover bag is the mental equivalent of doing a Rubik's cube in a dust storm.



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

  1. (transitive, intransitive, Britain, Ireland) To clean (a room, etc.) with a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    I need to hoover this room.
    • 2000, Tanya David, Dennis Pepper, comp., “Dogends”, in The New Young Oxford Book of Ghost Stories, Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, pages 30–31:
      This time Robbie was dreaming about Mr Spatchley's ducks. They had all come alive and were flying around the office whilst Robbie desperately tried to hoover the floor. There were ducks everywhere, on the desk and mantelpiece and padding around on the floor, knocking things over and quacking indignantly.
    • 2006, Stella Rimington, Secret Asset, London: Hutchinson, ISBN 978-0-09-180024-6; republished New York, N.Y.: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4000-7982-7, page 210:
      In the freshly hoovered living room of her house in Wokingham, Thelma Dawnton was distinctly miffed.
    • 2009, Ariel Leve, The Cassandra Chronicles, London: Portobello, →ISBN:
      In honour of my visit, he'd gotten rid of 'most' of the cobwebs, and washed and hoovered the walls next to the bed. Hoovered the walls? What sort of creatures were living in the gaps in the stone that would need to be hoovered out?
    • 2015, Kes Gray, Daisy and the Trouble with Piggy Banks, London: Red Fox, →ISBN:
      After I'd eaten my dinner on Saturday, Mum said I could start earning some money by hoovering the lounge. She got the hoover out, plugged it in and said that she would come and inspect the carpet after she had finished clearing the dinner things away. [] I had started off hoovering the carpet, but after about twelve pushes I got a bit bored.
  2. (intransitive, Britain, Ireland) To use a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
    My husband is upstairs, hoovering.
    • 2001, Ali Smith, Hotel World, London: Hamish Hamilton, →ISBN:
      [] she was always in trouble for not hoovering behind the bed picked up what I could of it still there after he hoovered []
    • 2005, Ally Fogg, Phil Korbel, Cathy Brooks, Steve Lee, “Money and Monitoring”, in Community Radio Toolkit, Manchester: Radio Regen, →ISBN, page 78:
      A woman from a funding agency visited the station for a meeting early one morning, and when she arrived I was doing the hoovering. My colleague introduced us and we chatted for a bit. Then she asked me what my job was and I told her 'station manager'. She looked really puzzled, and asked 'so why are you doing the hoovering?' I answered, 'because the floor was dirty.'
    • 2007, Olivia Liberty, Falling, London: Atlantic Books, →ISBN:
      Up and down the wooden stairs of the house in Cambridge large balls of dust and dog hair bounced. Toby wondered whether John Lambert III, if he'd stuck around, would have hoovered. The hoover stopped and the man wound in the cord, admiring his handiwork. The silence pounded against Toby's eardrums. It seemed that real men hoovered.
  3. (transitive) To suck in or inhale, as if by a vacuum cleaner.
    • 1989, Grant Naylor, Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers:
      'You're probably thinking I'm a slob,' said Lister, finishing off a quintuple-thick milkshake and hoovering around the base with the straw.
    • 1998, Bill Bryson, chapter 1, in A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, New York, N.Y.: Anchor Books, →ISBN, 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.
    • 2003, Thomas E. Downing, “Lessons from Famine Early Warning and Food Security for Understanding Adaptation to Climate Change: Toward a Vulnerability/Adaptation Science?”, in Joel B. Smith, Richard J. T. Klein, Saleemul Huq, editors, Climate Change, Adaptive Capacity and Development, London: Imperial College Press, →ISBN, pages 72–73:
      The early models of famine early warning systems adopted the approach of gathering all possible (or measurable) indicators, adding them up and deducing vulnerability. This was termed the hoovering approach—vulnerability was the weight of the bag after vacuuming up everything in sight (hoovering is the British word for vacuuming).
    • 2016, Al Bolea, Leanne Atwater, Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery (Leadership: Research and Practice Series), New York, N.Y., Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, →ISBN:
      We devoured the food, and all along we three boys were bubbling with excitement, telling Mom about the hole. As Dad "hoovered" away, slurping, chewing, gulping, and snorting, Rudy said, "Mom, you would not believe the hole; it's beautiful. Jeffrey designed it and we dug it together ... even Berto helped."


Derived terms[edit]