[huhv-er, hov-]

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.

Origin of hover

1350–1400; Middle English hoveren, frequentative of hoven to hover, of obscure origin
Related formshov·er·er, nounhov·er·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for hover

1. See fly1. 3. falter, pause, fluctuate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hover

fly, linger, flicker, drift, poise, waver, flutter, dance, flit, flitter

Examples from the Web for hover

Contemporary Examples of hover

Historical Examples of hover

  • That hover o'er the meeting-halls, Where many a voice stentorian bawls!

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Anthony would not come and hover silently at my bedside in the middle of the night.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Corrected misprints are noted by hover information in the text.

  • After seeming to hover for a time on the verge of a great truth, we have gained only a truism.

  • I hover over my racked body like a ghost, and exist in an interregnum.

British Dictionary definitions for hover



(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