[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 hovered

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

Examples from the Web for hovered

Contemporary Examples of hovered

Historical Examples of hovered

  • Mrs. Higbee hovered near him with an air of proud ownership.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It hovered about Eurylochus, and almost brushed his face with its wings.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • They hovered about until sunset, when they left us; pulling ashore.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I knew now that he had hovered at Cleopatra's door hoping for a cry of pleasure.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • I hovered near, anxious that the service should be without flaw.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for hovered



(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 hovered



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