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.