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See also: Hover


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English hoveren, equivalent with hove +‎ -er (frequentative suffix).



A hummingbird hovering

hover (third-person singular simple present hovers, present participle hovering, simple past and past participle hovered)

  1. (intransitive) To float in the air.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
    The hummingbird hovered by the plant.
  2. (intransitive) To linger or hang in one place, especially in an uncertain manner.
    • a. 1749, James Thomson, “Ode”, in [George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton], editor, The Works of James Thomson. [], volume II, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, [], published 1750, OCLC 84583124, stanza III, page 220:
      Oh! if thou hover'ſt round my walk, / While, under ev'ry well-known tree, / I to thy fancy'd ſhadow talk, / And every tear is full of thee.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      The neighborhood, to our ears, seemed haunted by approaching footsteps; and what between the dead body of the captain on the parlor floor, and the thought of that detestable blind beggar hovering near at hand, and ready to return, there were moments when, as the saying goes, I jumped in my skin for terror.
    The strange man hovered outside the gents.
    The visitor hovered at the door, seemingly unwilling to enter.
    His pen hovered above the paper.
  3. (intransitive) To waver, or be uncertain.
    Filling in the voting form, I hovered between Labour and Liberal Democrat.
  4. (computing, intransitive) To place the cursor over a hyperlink or icon without clicking.
    A tooltip appears when you hover over this link.
Derived terms[edit]
  • Welsh: hofran


hover (plural hovers)

  1. The act of hovering

Etymology 2[edit]



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hover (plural hovers)

  1. A cover; a shelter; a protection.
    • 1602, Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall:
      boughs of trees [] to serve as a hover for the fish
    • 1867, Charles Kingsley, Superstition
      Without the instinct of self-preservation, which causes the sea-anemone to contract its tentacles, or the fish to dash into its hover, species would be extermined wholesale by involuntary suicide.


hover in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


hover m

  1. indefinite plural of hov



hover (third-person singular simple present hovers, present participle hoverin, simple past hovert, past participle hovert)

  1. to hover
  2. to pause (in hesitation)