[hey-vuh n]
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verb (used with object)
  1. 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

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1. See harbor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for haven

Contemporary Examples of haven

Historical Examples of haven

  • 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


  1. a port, harbour, or other sheltered place for shipping
  2. a place of safety or sanctuary; shelter
  1. (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