hive mind

noun \ ˈhīv-ˌmīnd \
variants: or less commonly hivemind

Definition of hive mind

1 :the collective mental activity expressed in the complex, coordinated behavior of a colony of social insects (such as bees or ants) regarded as comparable to a single mind controlling the behavior of an individual organism
  • The tiny bees in a hive are more or less unaware of their colony, but their collective hive mind transcends their small bee minds.
  • —Sven Birkerts and Kevin Kelly
2 :the collective thoughts, ideas, and opinions of a group of people (such as Internet users) regarded as functioning together as a single mind
  • … Mindy Kaling asks her Twitter followers for the best dinner spots in cities she's visiting. Generally, people trust that feedback from the hive mind is correct and well-informed.
  • —Sarah Z. Wexler
  • While the building was being renovated, Jackson and his wife turned the design of the studio kitchen over to the hive mind of the staff.
  • —Mark Healy
  • … It's just not rational to believe that people are able to read, let alone understand, all the privacy policies …. Instead, users now rely on the Internet hivemind to know if a particularly egregious privacy change is afoot.
  • —Andrea Peterson

Recent Examples of hive mind from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hive mind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hive mind

1958


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