bee·​hive ˈbē-ˌhīv How to pronounce beehive (audio)
plural beehives
: hive sense 1
In the spring, two young grizzly bears, just out of a winter's sleep, … knocked over a half-dozen commercial beehives and fed on the honey and larvae within.Jim Robbins
: something resembling a hive for bees: such as
: a scene of crowded activity
… a beehive of growling trucks, riverboats laden with supplies, helicopters and airplanes buzzing overhead …National Geographic
: a woman's hairstyle that is conical in shape
She is about sixty-five with hair white as spun sugar, piled up in a beehive hairdo that has been out of style for twenty years.W. P. Kinsella
beehive adjective

Examples of beehive in a Sentence

The office was a beehive of activity. wearing her hair in a beehive
Recent Examples on the Web She's now deeply committed to a small church-run organic and regenerative farm with vegetables, beehives and hay. Melina Walling, Quartz, 22 Mar. 2024 In the Pyrenees, the mountains that straddle the border between France and Spain, French and Spanish farmers’ unions, sick of dealing with damage to crops, beehives, and livestock, have called for bear numbers to be cut. Tristan Kennedy, WIRED, 21 Mar. 2024 Cousins installed a beehive on the top level of the parking lot of one of its Tempe properties so tenants can get fresh honey and see how honey is produced, Felix said. Corina Vanek, The Arizona Republic, 11 Mar. 2024 Leading the team onto the field was Utah’s new state flag – a banner featuring dark blue mountains, a red canyon stripe, and a large yellow beehive. Jasper Davidoff, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Mar. 2024 With a killer beehive hairdo, a giant flower pinned to her sweater, and a big beaming grin. Johanna Mayer, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2024 Too often, February is also a time when criminals tend to strike, taking beehives to sell or rent to eager farmers who may not realize the bees are stolen. Melissa Gomez, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Boal is sixty-seven, with blue eyes and a blond beehive hairdo; her manner is straightforward yet warm. Robert Samuels, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2024 And to protect their beehives against extreme weather, the nation’s apiarists are turning to innovative solutions – from phone apps to herb gardens to genetics – to keep the buzz alive in Tunisia. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beehive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beehive was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near beehive

Cite this Entry

“Beehive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: hive entry 1 sense 2
a beehive of activity


2 of 2 adjective
: resembling a dome-shaped beehive
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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