\ 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 hiveless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hive in a Sentence


The house was a hive of activity as we prepared for the party.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If too many young bees die, then the hive wouldn’t be able to sustain itself. National Geographic, "How honeybees get their jobs—explained," 22 Mar. 2019 Steeve Ngama, a doctoral candidate with the Université de Liège in Belgium, who has done similar research, said via email that bee hives are a good idea. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "Elephants Are Very Scared of Bees. That Could Save Their Lives.," 26 Jan. 2018 As the race approaches, the infield looks like the center of a hive, everyone buzzing about each other. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "One Day at Daytona," 22 Mar. 2019 The Purple Army quickly developed a reputation as a toxic hive. Adrian Chen, The New Yorker, "Ice Poseidon’s Lucrative, Stressful Life as a Live Streamer," 8 Dec. 2014 In the picture, her hair appears to have been just let down from its hive, with pieces loosely falling around her face. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Appears on the September "Vogue Brazil" Cover," 29 Aug. 2018 Honey bees are incredibly territorial, fighting to the death to defend their hive with painful stings. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "What turns bees into killer bees?," 15 June 2018 But just as beekeepers rent out their hives to farmers to kickstart pollination, so too might robots like BrambleBee travel between farms to lend a hand, or labor full-time in greenhouses. Matt Simon, WIRED, "This Robotic Pollinator Is Like a Huge Bee With Wheels and an Arm," 23 May 2018 The population has been decreasing due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) where bee colonies abandon their hives and die. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Häagen Dazs gives away free ice cream cones today," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Several ministers have expressed worry that an insurance policy—or backstop—could come at the possible cost of hiving Northern Ireland off from U.K. rules and regulations. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "May Seeks Backing for Draft Brexit Deal From Doubtful Allies," 13 Nov. 2018 The Whole Foods hives join a small but growing effort trying to help in urban Boise, such as the apiary on the BSU campus and the hives at the Boise Urban Garden School. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Why are these 250,000 bees hanging out on this sweet Downtown Boise rooftop?," 11 July 2018 Urban donates the honey from the Let's Grown Akron hives to sell at the farmers market to support the organization and provide a healthy sugar alternative. Megan Becka,, "Urban Honey Bee thrives thanks to Akron business partnerships," 2 Apr. 2018 Instead what is most often advocated is hiving off as much political life as possible from the influence of ignorant voters and giving it to experts instead. Sheri Berman, Washington Post, "Some argue that the West should limit democracy to save liberalism. Here’s why they’re wrong.," 18 July 2017 Southern drug store chain Fred’s, which had stood to gain national scale by buying the stores that Walgreens was hiving off to satisfy possible antitrust concerns, also fell 22%. Alan Murray, Fortune, "CEO Daily: Friday, 30th June," 30 June 2017 Starboard Value LP took a stake and called on Macy’s to hive off its valuable real estate, which the activist investor says is worth more than $20 billion. Dow Jones News Service, Twin Cities, "Saks owner Hudson’s Bay makes takeover approach to Macy’s," 3 Feb. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near hive





hive bee

hive body

hive mind

Statistics for hive

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hive

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hive

Spanish Central: Translation of hive

Nglish: Translation of hive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hive for Arabic Speakers

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