\ ˈhēv How to pronounce heave (audio) \
heaved or hove\ ˈhōv How to pronounce hove (audio) \; heaving

Definition of heave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : lift, raise heaved the trunk onto the table
2 : throw, cast heaved her books on the floor
3 : to utter with obvious effort or with a deep breath heave a sigh of relief
4a : to cause to swell or rise a spent horse gasping and heaving his chest Frost had heaved the sidewalk.
b geology : to displace (something, such as a rock stratum or a mineral vein) especially by a fault
5 : to draw, pull, or haul on (something, such as a rope) heave a line
6 obsolete : elevate

intransitive verb

1a : to rise and fall rhythmically The boat heaved up and down on the waves.
b : pant runners heaving at the finish line
2a : pull, push heaving on a rope
b : to move a ship in a specified direction or manner
c past tense usually hove : to move in an indicated way the ship hove into view
3 : to rise or become thrown or raised up Roads had begun to heave with frost.
4 : retch, vomit nearly heaved at the gruesome sight
5 : to strain or labor to do something difficult : struggle
heave to
: to halt the headway of a ship (as by positioning a sailboat with the jib aback and the rudder turned sharply to windward)



Definition of heave (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an effort to pull or raise something with each heave of the rope
b : an act or instance of throwing : hurl gave the ball a heave toward the basket
2 : an upward motion : rising especially : a rhythmical rising the heave of his chest
3 geology : horizontal displacement especially by the faulting of a rock the total heave of the strata
4 heaves plural in form but singular or plural in construction, veterinary medicine : chronic pulmonary emphysema of the horse resulting in difficult expiration, heaving of the flanks, and a persistent cough

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Other Words from heave


heaver noun

Synonyms for heave

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for heave


lift, raise, rear, elevate, hoist, heave, boost mean to move from a lower to a higher place or position. lift usually implies exerting effort to overcome resistance of weight. lift the chair while I vacuum raise carries a stronger implication of bringing up to the vertical or to a high position. scouts raising a flagpole rear may add an element of suddenness to raise. suddenly reared itself up on its hind legs elevate may replace lift or raise especially when exalting or enhancing is implied. elevated the taste of the public hoist implies lifting something heavy especially by mechanical means. hoisted the cargo on board heave implies lifting and throwing with great effort or strain. heaved the heavy crate inside boost suggests assisting to climb or advance by a push. boosted his brother over the fence

Examples of heave in a Sentence

Verb She heaved the door shut. The quarterback heaved the ball down the field. She sat down and heaved a sigh of relief. Noun We lifted the box onto the table with a heave. He gave the rope a mighty heave. The quarterback uncorked a mighty heave.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protesters were filmed on Monday grappling over the statue and affixing rope to it in an attempt to heave it to the ground. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'KILLER': Police clash with protesters trying to tear down Andrew Jackson statue near White House," 22 June 2020 Protesters tried to bring down the 168-year-old statue of President Andrew Jackson outside the White House by affixing rope to it in an attempt to heave it to the ground before law enforcement dispersed the crowd with pepper spray. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "National Guard placed on standby to protect DC monuments and 'critical infrastructure'," 24 June 2020 Others have a position, but a schizophrenic one, with blasé foreign ministries pulling in one direction, while sceptical intelligence agencies heave in the other. The Economist, "Charlemagne Europe’s “Sinatra doctrine” on China," 11 June 2020 The tsunami that followed the quake killed still more, and so did the fire that started when the heaving earth capsized votive candles. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Coronavirus and ‘Vindication of God’," 30 Apr. 2020 The thriller was secured when 6-foot-9 big man Maurice Lucas briefly lost the ball and then heaved up a 20-footer that went in at the buzzer. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Al McGuire jumps on the table after Marquette shocks Wisconsin," 25 Apr. 2020 Again, that end-of-the-Earth aura, broken only by a dive boat heaving on lapis swells outside the reef, and my urge to get back underwater to commune with the rainforest of life. John Briley, Washington Post, "Diving into the tranquility of Tahiti," 21 Feb. 2020 The sounds of heavy-duty equipment heaving steel or pouring cement are audible across the neighborhood. New York Times, "How a Trump Tax Break to Help Poor Communities Became a Windfall for the Rich," 31 Aug. 2019 On 4th and 6 from the Michigan State 43 with just more than 4 minutes to go, Wilson rolled left but heaved right, and Jeff Duckworth came back to the ball for a leaping 36-yard catch. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Russell Wilson works his magic in 2011 Big Ten title game," 19 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are few things more satisfying than taking a shaver to the cranium and giving your hair the old heave-ho. Popular Science, "Electric shavers for a smooth head and an easy haircut," 24 Apr. 2020 Aunt Jemima, along with Uncle Ben, who it was announced this week will also be getting the heave-ho, were not responsible for creating stereotypes. Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Aunt Jemima brand, rooted in slavery, was in fact ‘selling whiteness’," 17 June 2020 Zach Landa, a recent Mesa Desert Ridge graduate, won the boys shot put with an impressive heave of 63 feet, 9 inches. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Poston Butte's Zion Burns finds closure at Desert Dream Last Hurrah track meet," 13 June 2020 The monster heave won the competition by more than five feet and is a 2020 world-leading mark. oregonlive, "Josh Thompson holds on to win the USATF indoor 1,500; Ryan Crouser’s big throw claims the shot," 16 Feb. 2020 The Quakers finished the third quarter on a 10-2 run that was capped by East’s 60-foot heave as time expired. Corey Elliot, Indianapolis Star, "IHSAA basketball: Plainfield spoils Greenwood party as Mid-State title still up for grabs," 15 Feb. 2020 This heave, however, found its mark when the 61-foot shot banked into the basket. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Pistons’ third-quarter buzzer beater was a final dagger in Celtics’ ugliest loss this season," 15 Jan. 2020 So Ingol sent up a heave that sunk through the net and extended STVM's lead to 50-38. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights quiets Brush, STVM salvages split after Scholastic Play By Play Classic," 5 Jan. 2020 After Elfrid Payton missed a potential game-winning heave at the buzzer, Warriors players congregated near their bench, embracing and reminding each other that this one was far from over. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors fall to NBA’s worst record with OT loss to Knicks," 11 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heave.' 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 heave


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 6


circa 1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for heave

Verb and Noun

Middle English heven, from Old English hebban; akin to Old High German hevan to lift, Latin capere to take

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Time Traveler for heave

Time Traveler

The first known use of heave was before the 12th century

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Statistics for heave

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heave. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for heave


How to pronounce heave (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of heave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to lift or pull (something) with effort
US : to throw (something) with effort
: to breathe in and breathe out (a sigh) in a slow or loud way



English Language Learners Definition of heave (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of lifting or pulling something with effort
: a forceful throw


\ ˈhēv How to pronounce heave (audio) \
heaved or hove\ ˈhōv \; heaving

Kids Definition of heave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to raise with an effort Help me heave this box onto the truck.
2 : hurl, throw He heaved rocks into the water.
3 : to utter with an effort She heaved a sigh of relief.
4 : to rise and fall again and again The runner's chest was heaving.
5 : to be thrown or raised up Frost caused the ground to heave.



Kids Definition of heave (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an effort to lift or raise With a final heave they jammed him into the crate.— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
2 : a forceful throw
3 : an upward motion (as of the chest in breathing or of waves in motion)


\ ˈhēv How to pronounce heave (audio) \
heaved; heaving

Medical Definition of heave

transitive verb

: vomit got carsick and heaved his lunch

intransitive verb

: to undergo retching or vomiting

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