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 Lee Howdle snapped a picture of what appeared to be an angel with a glowing rainbow halo around its head, hovering in the sky just above the grass. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Man captures spectacular image of an "angel" in the clouds caused by a rare weather phenomenon," 13 Feb. 2020 With a case-fatality rate hovering at two percent, the novel coronavirus has, as of Feb. 6, 2020, a lower risk of death than other notable outbreaks, except influenza. National Geographic, "‘I can’t wait to hold my kids again’: Life inside Wuhan’s quarantine," 6 Feb. 2020 But with unemployment hovering near record lows, the Democratic nominee will need both substance and style that contrast well with Mr. Trump’s conflict and chaos. Rahm Emanuel, WSJ, "Democrats May Be Blowing Their Chance," 31 Jan. 2020 At the same time, with the unemployment rate hovering at a 50-year-low, just 3.5 percent, all workers have more leverage than ever to to negotiate their own work schedules and salaries, which is often a top priority for parents. Rachel Siegel, Anchorage Daily News, "Women outnumber men in the American workforce, for only the second time in history," 11 Jan. 2020 At the same time, with the unemployment rate hovering at a 50-year-low, just 3.5%, all workers have more leverage than ever to to negotiate their own work schedules and salaries, which is often a top priority for parents. Dallas News, "Women outnumber men in U.S. workforce for only the second time in history," 10 Jan. 2020 With unemployment hovering at a 50-year low and interest rates well below historical norms, the real estate industry is being dragged down by scarcity in housing stock, especially at lower price ranges. Washington Post, "Experts predict what the 2020 housing market will bring," 6 Jan. 2020 The price hikes are almost all below 10%, with the median price increase hovering around 5%, though more price increases could come in the following weeks. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Big Pharma Raised Prices of Several Prescription Drugs on First Day of 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 With everything hovering around the organization, the Cavs are playing their best ball of the year, just in time to put the finishing touches on 2019. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson blocking out trade speculation: ‘It’s the business of basketball'," 31 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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover. Accessed 27 Feb. 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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