[hey-vuh n]


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 formsha·ven·less, adjectiveha·ven·ward, adverb

Synonyms for haven

1. See harbor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for haven

Contemporary Examples of haven

Historical Examples of haven

  • There are some traits in her character that haven a fairly shown themselves yet.

    Christie Redfern's Troubles

    Margaret Robertson

  • At the last, I say, He shall bring them to the haven they had desired.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • Falmouth (Falemuth) as a haven and port has had a place in the maritime history of Cornwall from very early times.

  • There was a Danish chapman who came to our haven at Mundesley, where I live, and told it there to me.

    A King's Comrade

    Charles Whistler

  • "You will heave to the ship, Mr. Haven," said the captain, when she had passed a short distance beyond the wreck.

    Outward Bound

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for haven



a port, harbour, or other sheltered place for shipping
a place of safety or sanctuary; shelter


(tr) to secure or shelter in or as if in a haven
Derived Formshavenless, adjective

Word Origin for haven

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

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