hov·​el | \ ˈhə-vəl How to pronounce hovel (audio) , ˈhä- How to pronounce hovel (audio) \

Definition of hovel

1 : an open shed or shelter
2 religion : tabernacle
3 : a small, wretched, and often dirty house : hut

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Synonyms for hovel


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Examples of hovel in a Sentence

refugees living in crowded hovels
Recent Examples on the Web After the building was demolished, Warner moved into a hovel at 406½ Francisco St., just steps away from the site of his beloved saloon. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Mar. 2021 Producers and directors whose story lines call for gritty hovels, classic capes, bungalows, grand beachfront properties and every sort of residence in between have an incentive to make do with the housing stock in the five boroughs. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, 6 Sep. 2019 Inside, my hovel smelled musty as a summer cottage in the off-season. Wes Enzinna, Harper's magazine, 19 Nov. 2019 At the core of the play is the relationship between Sawyer and Scratch (Evan Jonigkeit), the alluring devil who one strange day appears in her hovel. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Aug. 2019 These days, Will and Kate live in Kensington Palace in London, but back in her bachelorette phase, Kate wasn't living in a hovel with roommates and subsisting on ramen and hope like many recent grads. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, 22 Sep. 2018 Additionally, the nocturnal insects tended to return to consistent hovels to rest and relax during the day. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, 9 July 2018 The play opens in a one-room hovel in a rebel army camp in Liberia. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, 23 Apr. 2018 The idea of using house size as a proxy for economic status may not be revolutionary—a palace is bigger than a hovel, after all—but the researchers found a new way to gauge the economy of ancient settlements from structural measurements. Matthew Shaer, Smithsonian, 22 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hovel.' 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 hovel

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hovel

Middle English

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The first known use of hovel was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Hovel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hovel. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of hovel

: a small, poorly built and often dirty house


hov·​el | \ ˈhə-vəl How to pronounce hovel (audio) , ˈhä- \

Kids Definition of hovel

: a small poorly built usually dirty house

More from Merriam-Webster on hovel

Nglish: Translation of hovel for Spanish Speakers


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