[ heev ]
See synonyms for: heaveheavingheaver on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),heaved or (especially Nautical) hove; heav·ing.
  1. to throw, especially to lift and throw with effort, force, or violence: The sailors began heaving the cargo overboard.I saw someone heave a brick through the window.

  2. to raise or lift with effort or force; hoist: He tried to heave the sledgehammer, but he wasn’t strong enough.

  1. to utter laboriously or painfully: He heaved a sigh.

  2. to cause to rise and fall with or as if with a swelling motion: She stood there weeping, sobs heaving her chest as she covered her face.

  3. to vomit; throw up: He heaved his breakfast before noon.

  4. Nautical.

    • to move into a certain position or situation: to heave a vessel aback.

    • to move in a certain direction: Heave the capstan around! Heave up the anchor!

  5. to haul or pull on (a rope, cable, line, etc.) with the hands, a winch, a capstan, or the like: Heave the anchor cable!

verb (used without object),heaved or (especially Nautical) hove; heav·ing.
  1. to rise and fall in rhythmically alternate movements: The ship heaved and rolled in the swelling sea.

  2. to breathe with effort; pant: He sat there heaving and puffing from the exertion.

  1. to vomit or retch: The smell of the nearby meat processing plant made me heave.

  2. (of the ground, pavement, etc.) to rise as if thrust up; swell or bulge: The ground heaved and small fissures appeared for miles around.Repeated freezing and thawing will cause the pavement to heave.

  3. to pull or haul on a rope, cable, etc.: We heaved on the rope with all our might, but the log did not budge.

  4. to push, as on a capstan bar.

  5. Nautical.

    • to move in a certain direction or into a certain position or situation: heave about;heave alongside;heave in stays.

    • (of a vessel) to rise and fall on high waves, especially waves passing at right angles to the ship.

  1. an act or effort of lifting, pulling, or pushing: With one mighty heave they managed to haul the unconscious man into the boat.

  2. a throw, toss, or cast: With a great heave, she threw the stone out of the garden bed.

  1. Informal. the act of rejecting or expelling, or the attempt to do so: The politician narrowly survived a heave by his own party.

  2. an effortful act of vomiting, retching, coughing, or sighing: With a heave he coughed up the river water in his lungs.She turned away and bent over as a heave overcame her.: Compare dry heaves.

  3. Geology. the horizontal component of the apparent displacement resulting from a fault, measured in a vertical plane perpendicular to the strike.

  4. the rise and fall of the waves or swell of a sea: The ship’s motion is so stable, one doesn’t feel the heave of the ocean.

  5. heaves, (used with a singular verb)Also called broken wind .Veterinary Pathology. a disease of horses, similar to asthma in human beings, characterized by difficult breathing.

Verb Phrases
  1. heave down, Nautical. to careen (a vessel).

  2. heave out, Nautical.

    • to shake loose (a reef taken in a sail).

    • to loosen (a sail) from its gaskets in order to set it.

  1. heave to,

    • Nautical. to stop the headway of (a vessel), especially by bringing the head to the wind and trimming the sails so that they act against one another.

    • to come to a halt.

Idioms about heave

  1. heave ho, (an exclamation used by sailors, such as when heaving the anchor up.)

  2. heave in sight, to rise to view, such as from below the horizon: The ship hove in sight as dawn began to break.

  1. heave the lead. lead2 (def. 17).

Origin of heave

First recorded before 900; Middle English heven, variant (with -v- from simple past tense and past participle) of hebben, Old English hebban; cognate with German heben, Old Norse hefja, Gothic hafjan; akin to Latin capere “to take”

synonym study For heave

2. See raise.

Other words for heave

Other words from heave

  • heav·er, noun
  • heave·less, adjective
  • un·heaved, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use heave in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for heave


/ (hiːv) /

verbheaves, heaving or heaved or mainly nautical hove
  1. (tr) to lift or move with a great effort

  2. (tr) to throw (something heavy) with effort

  1. to utter (sounds, sighs, etc) or breathe noisily or unhappily: to heave a sigh

  2. to rise and fall or cause to rise and fall heavily

  3. (past tense and past participle hove) nautical

    • to move or cause to move in a specified way, direction, or position: to heave in sight

    • (intr) (of a vessel) to pitch or roll

  4. (tr) to displace (rock strata, mineral veins, etc) in a horizontal direction

  5. (intr) to retch

  1. the act or an instance of heaving

  2. a fling

  1. the horizontal displacement of rock strata at a fault

Origin of heave

Old English hebban; related to Old Norse hefja, Old Saxon hebbian, Old High German heffen to raise, Latin capere to take, Sanskrit kapatī two hands full

Derived forms of heave

  • heaver, noun

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