\ˈhīv \

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 \ 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

Flyaway barriers, at least 6 feet tall, must be installed no more than 5 feet from the hive opening so bees would fly upward and away from neighboring properties, roads and sidewalks. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County addresses growing demand for barn weddings, beekeeping and tasting rooms," 11 July 2018 The Slovene beekeeping heritage is distinctive: The wooden bee hives are traditionally painted with murals reflecting myths and legends, or scenes bearing religious or historical significance. Jeanine Barone, New York Times, "Fall in Love With Bees on an ‘Apitourism’ Trip to Slovenia," 9 May 2018 Apitherapy -- the medicinal use of bee hive products, including honey, pollen and bee venom -- was the woman's go-to treatment for stress and contractures, a tightening of her muscles that caused stiff joints. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Live bee sting acupuncture is deadly for Madrid woman," 22 Mar. 2018 The Firm Rewrites the Rules In 2012, a new class of recruits — the worker bees in McKinsey’s hive — settled in at its office in Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial center, often called the richest square mile in Africa. New York Times, "How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa," 26 June 2018 The place hummed—a hive of activity, eagerly grasping for purchase in an undiscovered market. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "With a simple and cheap rocket, Virgin Orbit aims for the extraordinary," 4 June 2018 The 15-hectare farm, some 370 miles by car from the capital Algiers, bustled with chickens, quails, ducks, camels, goats, and sheep – a hive of activity in this stark landscape where, for miles, there is little else besides sand. Thin Lei Win, The Christian Science Monitor, "Algeria invests in desert fish farming to boost food production," 21 May 2018 Relying solely on her own research and aesthetic instincts, Trump crafted a cream and gold color scheme, with details spanning the patterns on the chair cushions to the honey with dessert made by bees in the White House hive. Betsy Klein And Kate Bennett, CNN, "Melania Trump masters the moment," 24 Apr. 2018 Near the living hive, a dozen or so frozen bees dot the snow. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Better Angels: Consider the humble honeybee," 2 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

7 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of hive 

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

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Comments on hive

What made you want to look up hive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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