\ˈdəv \

Definition of dove 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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


\ˈdōv \

Definition of dove (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of dive

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Other Words from dove


dovish \ˈdə-​vish \ adjective
dovishness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dove

Synonyms: Noun

pacifist, peacenik

Antonyms: Noun

hawk, jingo, war hawk, warmonger

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Examples of dove in a Sentence


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

Underneath its branches are six animals, each symbolizing a different ideal: an owl for wisdom, a dove for peace, a horse for wisdom, a deer for gentleness, a peacock for beauty, a mouse for curiosity. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See Diane von Furstenberg’s Seriously Chic London Christmas Tree," 27 Nov. 2018 God the Father has released the dove that signals Mary’s status as God’s chosen vessel. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "On the Brink of the Savior’s Arrival," 12 Oct. 2018 The Biblical reference to Noah releasing the dove from the ark in search of dry land may have been the first notable contribution. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 Ying attempted to curl the ball past Naeher but the U.S. keeper dove left and was able to corral the shot in the center of her goal and keep China off the scoresheet. Kellen Becoats,, "Watch: Alex Morgan's Header Leads USWNT Past China," 7 June 2018 Senior first baseman Austin Bain then hit a blooper to left field that the outfielder dove for and just barely missed, bringing Duplantis in to tie the game. Brody Miller,, "Ma'Khail Hilliard out-duels Auburn star Casey Mize in huge LSU win," 18 May 2018 And by playing the doves against the hawks in Seoul and Washington, it, too, might have been made with Bolton in mind. Eric Talmadge, Fox News, "Analysis: Ahead of summit, Pyongyang lobs barbs at Bolton," 17 May 2018 Gray and white, as if with age, or some preserving of the past, as in Beowulf, our hoary ancestor, hoary as in a bat or a willow, or the venerable hoary dove that flew straight into my picture window today and then lay dead on the front porch. Henri Cole, The New Yorker, "Doves," 4 June 2017 Photo: Ludovic Marin/Press Pool A dove is released during a ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Congress Column in Brussels. WSJ, "Europe Marks 100th Anniversary of the End of World War I," 11 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dove.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dove


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dove


Middle English, from Old English *dūfe; akin to Old High German tūba dove

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Dictionary Entries near dove







dove dock

Statistics for dove

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dove

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

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More Definitions for dove



English Language Learners Definition of dove

: a small wild bird that is related to pigeons

: a person who does not want war and does want peace


\ˈdəv \

Kids Definition of dove

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bird that is related to the pigeon but usually of somewhat smaller size


Kids Definition of dove (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense and past participle of dive

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More from Merriam-Webster on dove

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dove

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dove

Spanish Central: Translation of dove

Nglish: Translation of dove for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dove for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dove

Comments on dove

What made you want to look up dove? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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