hov·​er | \ ˈhə-vər How to pronounce hover (audio) , ˈhä- How to pronounce hover (audio) \
hovered; hovering\ ˈhə-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hovering (audio) , ˈhä-​ \

Definition of hover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to position (a computer cursor) over something (such as an image or icon) without selecting it Many in the class hovered their cursors over words and icons for long periods before committing to clicking their mouse.— Kelly Heyboer

intransitive verb

1a : to hang fluttering in the air or on the wing A hawk hovered overhead.
b : to remain suspended over a place or object a hummingbird hovering over the flowers Helicopters hovered above us.
2a : to move to and fro near a place : fluctuate around a given point Unemployment hovered around 10 percent.
b : to be in a state of uncertainty, irresolution, or suspense hovering uncomfortably behind a cigar …— Tennessee Williams The country hovers on the brink of famine.


plural hovers

Definition of hover (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or state of hovering in the air Ospreys were most successful hunting from a hover and spent more of their hunting time doing it that way.— John P. Wiley Jr. After a careful check outside to ensure that his flight path was clear, one of the pilots lifted his helicopter to a hover, then maneuvered to the middle of the valley.— Breck Henderson

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Other Words from hover


hoverer \ ˈhə-​vər-​ər How to pronounce hoverer (audio) , ˈhä-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hover

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of hover in a Sentence

Verb Watch as the hummingbird hovers over the flowers. Bees hovered around the hive. Waiters hovered near our table. nervous mothers hovering over their children Unemployment rates were hovering around 10 percent. Temperatures will continue to hover around freezing. The patient was hovering between life and death. The country hovers on the brink of famine.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Centralized heating is rare in the region, and many ill-prepared residents rushed to buy warm clothing as nighttime temperatures hovered around freezing and schools near New Delhi were closed. New York Times, "India Cold Wave Breaks Records, Shuts Schools and Makes Bad Air Worse," 1 Jan. 2020 Strong winds pummeled Northeast Ohio Monday morning and left about 60,000 without power as temperatures hovered around the low 40s, FirstEnergy spokesman Chris Eck told cleveland.com Monday afternoon. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "FirstEnergy slowly restoring power in Cuyahoga County, winds approached 70 mph," 30 Dec. 2019 Residents have called local authorities to report seeing groups of six to 10 drones hovering or cruising through the region between 7 and 10 p.m., usually flying a couple hundred feet in the air. Shelly Bradbury, The Denver Post, "No more mystery drones? FAA proposes rule for drones to identify themselves," 30 Dec. 2019 Customers scanned items at automated checkout stations as security guards hovered nearby. BostonGlobe.com, "That the store was even open was unusual. French labor rules prohibit most shops from employing workers past 1 p.m. on Sundays. But as e-commerce and online giants like Amazon usher in an era of round-the-clock spending, retailers are amping up the use of automated cashiers to help them compete.," 27 Dec. 2019 That trio ensured the margin hovered around 20 points before handing the game back to the bench with a few minutes left. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 123, Knicks 102: Giannis has another triple-double and still gets a chance to rest for the Pacers," 21 Dec. 2019 Slick spots will remain even after the snow passes as temperatures hover around freezing, according to the National Weather Service. The Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati weather: Temperatures to stay around freezing, roads will stay slick," 17 Dec. 2019 Eight boxes containing flat-screen televisions and hover boards were stolen Nov. 25 when a suspect or suspects cut the latch off a trailer parked in the lot at Walmart, 137 North Ave., and stole the items. Deborah Kadin, chicagotribune.com, "Franklin Park, Northlake police: eight boxes of hover boards, televisions stolen," 9 Dec. 2019 His teammates, though, also knew him as the guy who’d decline the strip club outings, and the attentions of pretty, hovering girls. Mary Beth Mccauley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is chastity old-fashioned? An NFL veteran’s take on Seventh Commandment.," 6 Dec. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1513, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hover


Middle English hoveren, frequentative of hoven to hover

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Time Traveler for hover

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hover

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hover.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hover


How to pronounce hover (audio) How to pronounce hover (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hover

: to float in the air without moving in any direction
: to stay very close to a person or place
: to stay near a specified point or level


hov·​er | \ ˈhə-vər How to pronounce hover (audio) , ˈhä- \
hovered; hovering

Kids Definition of hover

1 : to fly or float in the air without moving far in any direction Bees hovered around the hive.
2 : to stay near a place And Lockhart was hovering around all of them, making suggestions.— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

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More from Merriam-Webster on hover

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hover

Spanish Central: Translation of hover

Nglish: Translation of hover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hover for Arabic Speakers

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