\ ˈhīv How to pronounce hive (audio) \

Definition of hive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a container for housing honeybees
b : the usually aboveground nest of bees
2 : a colony of bees
3 : a place swarming with activity


hived; hiving

Definition of hive (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 of bees : to enter and take possession of a hive
2 : to reside in close association

transitive verb

1 : to collect into a hive
2 : to store up in or as if in a hive

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Other Words from hive


hiveless \ ˈhīv-​ləs How to pronounce hive (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hive in a Sentence

Noun The house was a hive of activity as we prepared for the party.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Contact a licensed pest control professional if a wasp decides to build a hive on your house. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 2 June 2021 Mother Teresa was canonized in 2016 — as a hive of psychological abuse and coercion. Michelle Goldberg, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 All those brilliant minds, working as a hive, obeying the commands from above. Ew Staff,, 11 May 2021 Soft-spoken and intensely focused, Marty didn’t strike me as the kind of editor who habitually roamed the open-plan hive of reporters’ desks, hiking up his khakis for an off-the-cuff chat. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2021 Honey bee workers, for instance, start out as nurse bees that stay in the hive and tend to the brood and the queen. Yao-hua Law, Science | AAAS, 25 Mar. 2021 Everyone lives in this hive of constant communication. Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books, 4 Mar. 2021 The 2021 Fort Lauderdale Air Show was a buzzing hive of activity as pilots got up close and personal with a crowd that slowly swelled along the beach as Saturday afternoon flew by. Wayne K. Roustan,, 8 May 2021 Estatuas cave in northern Spain was a hive of activity 105,000 years ago. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 15 Apr. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hive


Middle English, from Old English hȳf; perhaps akin to Old Norse hūfr ship's hull, Latin cūpa tub, Sanskrit kūpa cave

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Time Traveler for hive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hive

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hive



English Language Learners Definition of hive

: a nest for bees
: the bees living in a hive
: a place filled with busy activity


\ ˈhīv How to pronounce hive (audio) \

Kids Definition of hive

1 : a container for housing honeybees
2 : the usually aboveground nest of bees
3 : a colony of bees
4 : a place filled with busy people


\ ˈhīv How to pronounce hive (audio) \

Medical Definition of hive

: the raised edematous red patch of skin or mucous membrane characteristic of hives : an urticarial wheal

More from Merriam-Webster on hive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hive

Nglish: Translation of hive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hive for Arabic Speakers


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