variants or less commonly hivemind
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

Did you know?

Sometimes a biological term crosses over into everyday language with a similar, but less specific meaning. Take drone, a word for a stingless male bee: it dates back all the way to Old English and is also used today for (among other things) someone tasked with boring, repetitive work. More recently, hive mind has similarly flown beyond the apiary; what was first used to talk about the ways that colonies of social insects, like bees and ants, behave as a coordinated unit has come to be applied also to the collective thoughts, ideas, and opinions of a group of people seeming to function as a single entity. It’s not uncommon nowadays to see someone appeal to the hive mind of a social media website for relationship advice or dining recommendations, for example, or refer to a celebrity’s fanbase (like Queen Bey’s “Beyhive”) acting together to share the latest buzz about their favorite star.

Examples of hive mind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This leads me to my final reason and that is that, somehow, in the clutch, that same hive mind performs even better. Esfandiar Baraheni, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 In this case, a hive mind (like the Borg from Star Trek, or the Annihilation Wave from Marvel comics) takes the form of a planet-wide society whose every inhabitant is voiced by Christina Hendricks. Huntley Woods and Christian Holub, EW.com, 17 Oct. 2023 The three women share a comedic hive mind that Sadler understands well. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Dec. 2023 The hive mind weighed in with their favorite tips and tricks. Dan Koeppel, New York Times, 4 Dec. 2023 In that way, Howey served a similar purpose to Yost’s cluttered pre-production inbox — fielding questions until the hive mind took over. Hunter Ingram, Variety, 19 Nov. 2023 In the game, Peter becomes entangled with Venom, a murderous alien symbiote with a frightening hive mind. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 21 Oct. 2023 In the hive mind’s estimation, Trump was obviously connected to the Kremlin, and any suggestion made by any person — however patently ridiculous — was folded into that assumption without delay. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 6 Oct. 2023 But what happens when great power comes from a sentient alien symbiote with a murderous hive mind? Katcy Stephan, Variety, 16 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hive mind.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hive mind was in 1958

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near hive mind

Cite this Entry

“Hive mind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hive%20mind. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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