a habitation or dwelling-place constructed for bees, usually either dome-shaped or box-shaped.
a natural habitation of bees, as a hollowed-out tree.
a crowded, busy place.
something resembling an artificial beehive in appearance, as a hut or hairdo.
Also called beehive oven. an oven for converting coal into coke, characterized by its dome-shaped roof.

Origin of beehive

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at bee1, hive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beehive

Contemporary Examples of beehive

Historical Examples of beehive

  • The raging and roaring in the beehive could be heard in the distance.

  • He wore a beehive hat, but the remainder of his attire was European.

  • Miss Bartlett and Minnie are coming with me to tea at the Beehive.

    A Room With A View

    E. M. Forster

  • Honey is sometimes extracted from the honeycomb and the comb replaced in the beehive.


    Elmer W. Cavins

  • I wish he could come too, and all his people with him, and all the ladies from the Beehive.

British Dictionary definitions for beehive



a man-made receptacle used to house a swarm of bees
a dome-shaped hair style in which the hair is piled high on the head
a place where busy people are assembled


noun the Beehive informal

the dome-shaped building that houses sections of Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand
the New Zealand government
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

Word Origin and History for beehive

early 14c., from bee + hive (n.). As the name of a hairstyle, attested from 1960 (the style itself said to be popular from 1958). As the name of a star cluster in the constellation Cancer, from 1840 (see Praesepe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper