\ 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

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 The shop was a hive of activity, with some limited edition items already sold out in certain variations & sizes. Kate Hardcastle, Forbes, 16 June 2022 The gym at Garfield was a hive of activity, with beach balls flying, children jumping rope and students lining up for a photo opportunity with Medina Bee mascot Macy Maxworthy and her friend, high school cheerleader Kenzie Pelton. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 30 May 2022 The outside of Buckingham Palace is currently a hive of activity as a stage and seating are being constructed for a concert marking the Queen's 70 years on the throne. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 24 May 2022 One caveat, however: That leak investigation could well turn the court into a hive of finger-pointing and recrimination, thus giving leakers more to leak about. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 There’s a buzz of fertility, like bees on a hive, linked through cellular multiplication and blood. Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Third-place finisher Saar Safra, of Israel, cofounder and CEO of Beewise, who created an autonomous, solar-powered hive that monitors bees, assesses their needs and applies treatments without human intervention, received $50,000. Forbes, 13 May 2022 Most often the series comes alive in its messier, noisier, incidental details: the stuff in Jake’s little room above an eatery; the busy hive of the newspaper office; stores and restaurants and street life. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 This hive of ingenuity has lit a fire inside Belinskiy. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About hive

Time Traveler for hive

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near hive



hive bee

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hive

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for hive


\ 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!