hov·​er | \ ˈhə-vər How to pronounce hover (audio) , ˈhä- How to pronounce hover (audio) \
hovered; hovering\ ˈhə-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hover (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 hover (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 Occupancy rates for many hotels hover around 30 to 40 percent, according to Yiu Si-Wing, a lawmaker who represents the tourism sector. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "A Quarantine Nightmare: Three Weeks in a Hotel, if You Can Find One," 6 Jan. 2021 Mexico City is currently under red alert as its hospitals' COVID-19 beds hover near capacity. Christopher Sherman, ajc, "Mexico City ban on single-use plastics takes effect," 1 Jan. 2021 The future of policing amid recent spikes in violent crime in the Twin Cities is certain to hover over any debates in the upcoming session over public safety, criminal justice and state spending in this areas. Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, "Sen. Warren Limmer emerges as crucial legislator in police reform debate," 28 Dec. 2020 Though Christmas Eve highs will hover at around 80 degrees, forecasts project temperatures will fall rapidly overnight. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Florida to get coldest Christmas Eve in 2 decades," 24 Dec. 2020 One of the most visually arresting scenes aboard the Aether is when Maya is injured during the space walk, and drops of blood float out of her spacesuit and hover near her, thanks to the lack of gravity. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Poignant The Midnight Sky wrestles with whether humankind is worth saving," 24 Dec. 2020 Point is this trainer is on fire and his in-the-money percentages hover over 55%. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Louis Rabaut digs into Los Al results," 17 Dec. 2020 While White Claws, Trulys and other hard seltzer brands hover around the 100-calorie range per 12-oz. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan brewery invents Smooj, the hard seltzer smoothie, and it's delicious," 16 Dec. 2020 Interest rates continue to hover near zero, and many feel the stock market is overbought. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Indiegogo founder launches Vincent, a site to discover alternative investments," 8 Dec. 2020

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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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