[ huhv-er, hov- ]
See synonyms for: hoverhoveredhovering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to hang fluttering or suspended in the air: The helicopter hovered over the building.

  2. to keep lingering about; wait near at hand.

  1. to remain in an uncertain or irresolute state; waver: to hover between life and death.

  2. Computers. to place a pointer over an area of a screen without clicking or tapping, as with a mouse or stylus: Hover over the icon to reveal more information.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to hover.

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

  1. the act or state of hovering.

Origin of hover

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English hoveren, frequentative of hoven “to hover,” of obscure origin

synonym study For hover

1. See fly2.

Other words for hover

Other words from hover

  • hov·er·er, noun
  • hov·er·ing·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hover in a sentence

  • But in the matter of that wine—the faintest of smiles hovered on her lips, her eyebrows went up a shade.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • The belated moon stole up from its lair, hovered above the sky-line, a gaudy orange sphere in the haze of smoke.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • During two days smoke hovered around the neighbourhood, and the appearance of Manila from the bay was that of a smouldering city.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • The latter glanced at her sidewise and a shrewd little smile hovered about her lips for a moment, which Jess did not observe.

  • Towards the end of the march, the English hung upon the Scots, but 'hovered still about them and did nothing.'

    King Robert the Bruce | A. F. Murison

British Dictionary definitions for hover


/ (ˈhɒvə) /

  1. (intr) to remain suspended in one place

  2. (intr) (of certain birds, esp hawks) to remain in one place in the air by rapidly beating the wings

  1. (intr) to linger uncertainly in a nervous or solicitous way

  2. (intr) to be in a state of indecision: she was hovering between the two suitors

  3. (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

  1. the act of hovering

Origin of hover

C14: hoveren, variant of hoven, of obscure origin

Derived forms of hover

  • hoverer, noun
  • hoveringly, adverb

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