[ huhv-er, hov- ]
/ ˈhʌv ər, ˈhɒv- /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to hover.
Computers. to place (a pointer) over an area of a screen without clicking or tapping.


the act or state of hovering.

Nearby words

  1. hovawart,
  2. hove,
  3. hovea,
  4. hovel,
  5. hoven,
  6. hover fly,
  7. hovercraft,
  8. hovering accent,
  9. hovering act,
  10. hovering vessel

Origin of hover

1350–1400; Middle English hoveren, frequentative of hoven to hover, of obscure origin

1. See fly1. 3. falter, pause, fluctuate.

Related formshov·er·er, nounhov·er·ing·ly, adverb

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

Examples from the Web for hover

British Dictionary definitions for hover


/ (ˈhɒvə) /


(intr) to remain suspended in one place
(intr) (of certain birds, esp hawks) to remain in one place in the air by rapidly beating the wings
(intr) to linger uncertainly in a nervous or solicitous way
(intr) to be in a state of indecisionshe was hovering between the two suitors
(tr) computing to hold (the mouse pointer) over a defined area on a web page without clicking, in order to cause a menu, information box, etc to appear


the act of hovering
Derived Formshoverer, nounhoveringly, adverb

Word Origin for hover

C14: hoveren, variant of hoven, of obscure origin

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 hover



c.1400, hoveren, frequentative of hoven "hover, tarry, linger;" see hove (1). Related: Hovered; hovering. As a noun from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper