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[hey-vuh n] /ˈheɪ vən/
a harbor or port.
any place of shelter and safety; refuge; asylum.
verb (used with object)
to shelter, as in a haven.
Origin of haven
before 1050; Middle English; Old English hæfen; cognate with Dutch haven, German Hafen, Old Norse hǫfn; akin to Old English hæf, Old Norse haf sea
Related forms
havenless, adjective
havenward, adverb
1. See harbor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for haven
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • More than a haven for the weary, it is a hope for the brave.

  • We soon got at work, and began to work down to the mouth of the haven, with a light breeze.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • When he is wafted to a haven of rest, we will console each other.

  • The ship is cleared--my hour is come--my passengers are on board--and America is my haven.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Only the mountains remained to offer him a haven, and those might be changed as this spot was.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
British Dictionary definitions for haven


a port, harbour, or other sheltered place for shipping
a place of safety or sanctuary; shelter
(transitive) to secure or shelter in or as if in a haven
Derived Forms
havenless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hæfen, from Old Norse höfn; related to Middle Dutch havene, Old Irish cuan to bend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for haven

Old English hæfen "haven, port," from Old Norse höfn "haven, harbor" or directly from Proto-Germanic *hafno- (cf. Danish havn, Middle Low German havene, German Hafen), perhaps from PIE *kap- "to seize, hold contain" (see have) on notion of place that "holds" ships, but cf. also Old Norse haf, Old English hæf "sea" (see haff). Figurative sense of "refuge," now practically the only sense, is c.1200.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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