dove

1 of 2

noun

1
: any of numerous pigeons
especially : a small wild pigeon
2
: a gentle woman or child
3
: one who takes a conciliatory attitude and advocates negotiations and compromise
especially : an opponent of war compare hawk entry 1
dovish adjective
dovishness noun

dove

2 of 2

past tense of dive

Examples of dove in a Sentence

Noun The President sided with the doves and worked to avoid war. the doves were in favor of using the surplus to improve the nation's schools and not its weapons systems
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Three doves were released during the ceremony in honor of the brothers. Melissa Gomez, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2024 Stephanie’s mother, who speaks the language, read a poem about two doves in Slovenian during the ceremony before translating it to English for the crowd. Kaitlin Menza, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 May 2024 Other events to commemorate the day included a dove release in Solana Beach, a ceremony with patriotic music at Fort Rosecrans National Ceremony and various ceremonies in Coronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, El Cajon, Escondido, Fallbrook, Oceanside and Rancho Bernardo. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 May 2024 Accounts for fellow rider Pippa Funnell and the Bicton Arena, among others, all shared an image with three emojis on it: a white heart and a purple heart floating above a dove carrying an olive branch. Brian Anthony Hernandez, Peoplemag, 28 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dove 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English duve, douve, dowe, probably going back to Old English *dūfe and a shortened form *dufe, going back to Germanic *dūƀōn- (whence also Old Frisian dūwe "dove," Old Saxon dūƀa, Middle Dutch duve, Old High German tūba, Old Icelandic dúfa, Gothic -dubo, in hraiwadubo "turtledove"), of uncertain origin

Note: The modern English outcome with [ʌ] presupposes shortening of (or variation with) a Middle English form with ọ̄, itself presupposing Old English ŭ affected by Middle English open-syllable lengthening. Middle English spellings such as douve, however, would seem to require an Old English long vowel, as do the Germanic cognates. These issues were pointed out by E. J. Dobson (English Pronunciation, 1500-1700, 2. edition, Oxford, 1968, p. 514), who follows the Oxford English Dictionary's suggestion that the noun is related to Old English dūfan "to dive, plunge (into a liquid)" (see dive entry 1) and that the forms with long and short u reflect different ablaut grades of dūfan (a class II strong verb). Essentially the same solution, without the discussion of the English details, is proposed by G. Kroonen (Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic, Brill, 2013). The difficulty with this hypothesis is that the noun in Germanic languages uniformly means "dove, pigeon," not an aquatic bird. Another proposal associates *dūƀōn- with the Celtic etymon of Old Irish dub "dark, black," Old Welsh dub, Welsh du, on the assumption that a dove is "the dark bird." But such a source, usually derived, together with Germanic *dauƀa- "deaf, senseless" (see deaf) and Greek typhlós "blind, dark," from Indo-European *dhubh-, *dheu̯bh-, could not regularly produce a long u. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the etymological successor to the Oxford English Dictionary, abandons the dive connection and says simply "presumed to be imitative of the bird's note."

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dove was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dove

Cite this Entry

“Dove.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dove. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

dove

1 of 2 noun
1
: any of numerous pigeons
especially : a small wild pigeon
2
: a person who opposes war or warlike policies
dovish adjective

dove

2 of 2

past and past participle of dive

More from Merriam-Webster on dove

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