From Middle English hovel, hovil, hovylle, diminutive of Old English hof (“an enclosure, court, dwelling, house”), from Proto-Germanic *hufą (“hill, farm”), from Proto-Indo-European *kewp- (“arch, bend, buckle”), equivalent to howf + -el. Cognate with Dutch hof (“garden, court”), German Hof (“yard, garden, court, palace”), Icelandic hof (“temple, hall”). Related to hove and hover.
hovel (plural hovels)
- An open shed for sheltering cattle, or protecting produce, etc., from the weather.
- A poor cottage; a small, mean house; a hut.
- In the manufacture of porcelain, a large, conical brick structure around which the firing kilns are grouped.
- (transitive) To put in a hovel; to shelter.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene vii]:
- To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn.
- 1855, Alfred Tennyson, “Maud”, in Maud, and Other Poems, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 1013215631, page 1:
- The poor are hovell'd and hustled together.
- (transitive) To construct a chimney so as to prevent smoking, by making two of the more exposed walls higher than the others, or making an opening on one side near the top.