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[huhv-er, hov-] /ˈhʌv ər, ˈhɒv-/
verb (used without object)
to hang fluttering or suspended in the air:
The helicopter hovered over the building.
to keep lingering about; wait near at hand.
to remain in an uncertain or irresolute state; waver:
to hover between life and death.
the act or state of hovering.
1350-1400; Middle English hoveren, frequentative of hoven to hover < ?
Related forms
hoverer, noun
hoveringly, adverb
1. See fly1 . 3. falter, pause, fluctuate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hovering
  • Individual concrete pads create the illusion that they're hovering lightly above the desert floor.
  • The first substances found to facilitate resistance-free electron flow did so only at temperatures hovering around absolute zero.
  • Where there are fishery boats docking after a day's catch, there are usually seabirds hovering in hopes of lifting scraps.
  • hovering would have increased their radiation exposure.
  • Patients on ketamine report the sensation of hovering above their body and watching it.
  • We have a plague of flies in the office, hovering only in the kitchen.
  • Each book has its own icon, and you can display more information about a book by hovering over its icon.
  • And with the unemployment rate hovering near historic lows, they have other choices.
  • We pump a blast of air into the dry suits and arrest our descent, hovering with our fin tips five feet from the bottom.
  • The old grandma, hovering in the living room, knows better than that.
British Dictionary definitions for hovering


(intransitive) to remain suspended in one place
(intransitive) (of certain birds, esp hawks) to remain in one place in the air by rapidly beating the wings
(intransitive) to linger uncertainly in a nervous or solicitous way
(intransitive) to be in a state of indecision: she was hovering between the two suitors
(transitive) (computing) to hold (the mouse pointer) over a defined area on a web page without clicking, in order to cause a menu, information box, etc to appear
the act of hovering
Derived Forms
hoverer, noun
hoveringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: hoveren, variant of hoven, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hovering



c.1400, hoveren, frequentative of hoven "hover, tarry, linger;" see hove (1). Related: Hovered; hovering. As a noun from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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