From Middle English hovel, hovil, hovylle, diminutive of *hove, *hof (“structure, building, house”), from 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.
- 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
- 'Behold! once more I kiss thee, and by that kiss I give to thee dominion over sea and earth, over the peasant in his hovel, over the monarch in his palace halls, and cities crowned with towers, and those who breathe therein.'
- 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.
- (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.