\ 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 Mom falls back onto the dirt, sweating and heaving. Vanessa Martir, Longreads, "‘To Be Well’: An Unmothered Woman’s Search for Real Love," 27 Nov. 2019 She is eclipsed by the person of Trump, who heaves into the center of the frame like one of those giant cruise ships that arrive in the harbor to blot out the sun. Jody Rosen, New York Times, "Staring Down Donald Trump, the Same Elephant in Every Room," 16 Oct. 2019 Fashioned from gas, dust, and metals that had been heaved into the cosmos by an even more primordial stellar population, these stars stuck together and forged a primitive Milky Way. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Found: Oldest known stars in our galaxy," 22 July 2019 Among them: a fiberglass hull can succumb to the intense pressures of expanding, shifting and heaving ice. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Sailboat frozen in St. Croix River may stay out all winter; owner unable to free it Friday," 15 Nov. 2019 So that’s what East did, heaving the ball toward the basket with his left hand – and hitting nothing but net, sending the Minutemen to the locker room with a one-point lead over visiting Northeastern. Fox News, "UMass guard Sean East hits amazing shot from other end of court," 13 Nov. 2019 The Lions pulled within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, when Driskel scrambled to avoid a sack and heaved a 47-yard bomb to Kenny Golladay. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Lions lose to Bears, offer inconsistent explanations of Matthew Stafford's injury," 10 Nov. 2019 Not long before, Russell weaved through traffic in the waning seconds of the third and, while still running, heaved up a shot from near the midcourt logo. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors squander another big night from D’Angelo Russell in loss to Thunder," 9 Nov. 2019 The band leans toward metal, with clipped and heavy riffs played at galloping speed, and the vocals suggest emo with their harmonies and heaving delivery. John Adamian, courant.com, "Pop-punk Four Year Strong bringing acoustic tour to the Webster," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rookie quarterback David Blough led Detroit’s last drive to the Chicago 26 in the final minute before losing 13 yards on a sack to leave a desperation pass as the only option, and Jackson picked off his heave. BostonGlobe.com, "Most popular on BostonGlobe.com," 29 Nov. 2019 The Lions cut it to 20-13 when Golloday hauled in a 47-yard heave. oregonlive, "Mitchell Trubisky’s three TD passes powers the Chicago Bears past the Detroit Lions: Recap, score, stats and more," 10 Nov. 2019 But his desperation heave was rushed by Gardner-Johnson’s blitz and Williams snagged New Orleans’ third forced turnover of the game. Brett Martel, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Saints stifle Cowboys, win 12-10 without scoring a TD," 29 Sep. 2019 Mayfield, when faced with immediate pressure from an aggressive Rams front, retreated before launching a desperation heave in the endzone. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Browns Fall to Rams, Squander Opportunity to Earn Statement Victory," 23 Sep. 2019 With a big heave, Bain and Advent might just get something on the table before AMS’s offer expires. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Bain Capital Wants to Prove It’s Smarter Than Carlyle," 26 Sep. 2019 But her concerns are different — less psychological excavation and more the heave and crash of titanic forces, and the pure, unhinged energy of creation and destruction. Maura Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "Folk & World," 20 Sep. 2018 Justin Herbert with a 20-yard heave, hit in the process, Spencer Webb comes down with it and steps over Auburn CB Javaris Davis, who didn’t even jump to defend it. oregonlive, "Live updates: No. 11 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 16 Auburn Tigers," 31 Aug. 2019 Bauer was fined by Major League Baseball for his startling heave, a person familiar with the discipline told the AP. Tom Withers, Houston Chronicle, "Indians trade Trevor Bauer to Reds in 3-team deal," 30 July 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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Heave.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heaving. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on heave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heave

Spanish Central: Translation of heave

Nglish: Translation of heave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heave for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heave

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