[duhv] /dʌv/
any bird of the family Columbidae, especially the smaller species with pointed tails.
Compare pigeon (def 1).
a pure white member of this species, used as a symbol of innocence, gentleness, tenderness, and peace.
(initial capital letter) a symbol for the Holy Ghost.
an innocent, gentle, or tender person.
Also called peace dove. a person, especially one in public office, who advocates peace or a conciliatory national attitude.
Compare hawk1 (def 4).
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Columba.
1150–1200; Middle English; Old English dūfe- (in dūfedoppa dip-diver); cognate with Dutch duif, German Taube, Old Norse dūfa, Gothic dūbo, originally a diver
Related forms
dovelike, dovish, adjective
dovishness, noun


[dohv] /doʊv/
a simple past tense of dive.


[duhv] /dʌv/
Arthur, 1880–1946, U.S. painter.
Rita, born 1952, U.S. poet and educator: U.S. poet laureate 1993.


[dahyv] /daɪv/
verb (used without object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to plunge into water, especially headfirst.
to go below the surface of the water, as a submarine.
to plunge, fall, or descend through the air, into the earth, etc.:
"The acrobats dived into nets."
Aeronautics. (of an airplane) to descend rapidly.
to penetrate suddenly into something, as with the hand:
"to dive into one's purse."
to dart:
"to dive into a doorway."
to enter deeply or plunge into a subject, activity, etc.
verb (used with object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to cause to plunge, submerge, or descend.
to insert quickly; plunge:
"He dived his hand into his pocket."
an act or instance of diving.
a jump or plunge into water, especially in a prescribed way from a diving board.
the vertical or nearly vertical descent of an airplane at a speed surpassing the possible speed of the same plane in level flight.
a submerging, as of a submarine or skindiver.
a dash, plunge, or lunge, as if throwing oneself at or into something:
"He made a dive for the football."
a sudden or sharp decline, as in stock prices.
Informal. a dingy or disreputable bar or nightclub.
Boxing. a false show of being knocked out, usually in a bout whose result has been prearranged:
"to take a dive in an early round."
before 900; Middle English diven to dive, dip, Old English dȳfan to dip (causative of dūfan to dive, sink); cognate with Old Norse dȳfa dip, German taufen to baptize; akin to dip
Related forms
postdive, adjective
predive, adjective
underdive, noun
underdive, verb (used without object), underdived or underdove, underdived, underdiving.
Usage note
Both dived and dove are standard as the past tense of dive. Dived, historically the older form, is somewhat more common in edited writing, but dove occurs there so frequently that it also must be considered standard: The rescuer dove into 20 feet of icy water. Dove is an Americanism that probably developed by analogy with alternations like drive, drove and ride, rode. It is the more common form in speech in the northern United States and in Canada, and its use seems to be spreading. The past participle of dive is always dived.
Example Sentences for dove
The dove sat in the tree's branches, as loud as a used-car commercial.
The plane didn't have a lot of speed and dove off the edge of the ship.
It is an amazing end to an amazing evolutionary story-Deinonychus into dove.
He had a secret cipher of his own, though, a dove with an olive branch.
Public portraits of the new leader depict him with white roses and a white dove.
Some of his oldest detractors reckoned he might astonish everyone by switching from populist hawk to pragmatic dove.
Down in the hollow was the mourning dove-it was not too late for him.
It is as harmless as a dove, as beautiful as a rose, and as valuable as flocks and herds.
Near dusk he woke to a dove singing on the phone wires.
So they got into their scuba gear, dove in with their audio equipment, and started playing the sequence.
British Dictionary definitions for dove
dive (daɪv)
vb (usually foll by in or into) , (US) dives, diving, dived, dove, dived
1.  to plunge headfirst into water
2.  (of a submarine, swimmer, etc) to submerge under water
3.  (also tr) to fly (an aircraft) in a steep nose-down descending path, or (of an aircraft) to fly in such a path
4.  to rush, go, or reach quickly, as in a headlong plunge: he dived for the ball
5.  (also tr; foll by in or into) to dip or put (one's hand) quickly or forcefully (into): to dive into one's pocket
6.  to involve oneself (in something), as in eating food
7.  slang soccer (of a footballer) to pretend to have been tripped or impeded by an opposing player in order to win a free kick or penalty
8.  a headlong plunge into water, esp one of several formalized movements executed as a sport
9.  an act or instance of diving
10.  a steep nose-down descent of an aircraft
11.  slang a disreputable or seedy bar or club
12.  slang boxing the act of a boxer pretending to be knocked down or out: he took a dive in the fourth round
13.  slang soccer the act of a player pretending to have been tripped or impeded
[Old English dӯfan; related to Old Norse dӯfa to dip, Frisian dīvi; see deep, dip]

dove1 (dʌv)
1.  any of various birds of the family Columbidae, having a heavy body, small head, short legs, and long pointed wings: order Columbiformes. They are typically smaller than pigeonsRelated: columbine
2.  politics Compare hawk a person opposed to war
3.  a gentle or innocent person: used as a term of endearment
4.  a.  a greyish-brown colour
 b.  (as adjective): dove walls
Related: columbine
[Old English dūfe (unattested except as a feminine proper name); related to Old Saxon dūbva, Old High German tūba]

dove2 (dəʊv)
chiefly (US) a past tense of dive

Dove (dʌv)
Christianity the Dove a manifestation of the Holy Spirit (John 1:32)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin and History for dove
emerged 13c. from O.E. dufan "to dive, duck, sink" (intransitive, class II strong verb; past tense deaf, pp. dofen) and dyfan "to dip, submerge" (weak, transitive), from P.Gmc. *dubijanan. Past tense dove is a later formation, perhaps on analogy of drive/drove. Sense of "disreputable bar" is first recorded Amer.Eng. 1871, perhaps because they were usually in basements, and going into one was both a literal and figurative "diving." Related: Diver; diving.
probably from O.E. dufe- (found only in compounds), from P.Gmc. *dubon, perhaps related to words for "dive," from its flight. Originally applied to all pigeons, now mostly restricted to the turtle dove. A symbol of gentleness from early Christian times, also of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gen. viii.8-12); political meaning "person who advocates peace" first attested 1962, during Cuban Missile Crisis.
p.t. of dive (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang related to dove


  1. A vulgar and disreputable haunt, such as a cheap bar, nightclub, lodging house, or dancehall; crib : the girl who danced in a dive in New Orleans (1871+)
  2. speakeasy (1920s+)
  3. A knockdown or knockout, esp a false prearranged knockout : A dive is a phantom knockout (1940s+ Prizefight)

: They fixed it so that he'd dive in the fourth


nose dive, take a dive

[origin of first sense uncertain; perhaps fr the notion that one could dive into a disreputable cellar haunt (called a diving bell in an 1883 glossary) and lose oneself among lowlifes and criminals; perhaps a shortening of divan, ''a smoking and gaming room,'' a usage popular in London in the mid-and late 19th century; the places were so called because they were furnished with divans, ''lounges,'' the name ultimately fr Turkish]


  1. Dear one; honey; love : There at once, my dove (1596+)
  2. A person who advocates peace and nonviolence; an irenic soul (1962+)


Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
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dove in the Bible

In their wild state doves generally build their nests in the clefts of rocks, but when domesticated "dove-cots" are prepared for them (Cant. 2:14; Jer. 48:28; Isa. 60:8). The dove was placed on the standards of the Assyrians and Babylonians in honour, it is supposed, of Semiramis (Jer. 25:38; Vulg., "fierceness of the dove;" comp. Jer. 46:16; 50:16). Doves and turtle-doves were the only birds that could be offered in sacrifice, as they were clean according to the Mosaic law (Ge. 15:9; Lev. 5:7; 12:6; Luke 2:24). The dove was the harbinger of peace to Noah (Gen. 8:8, 10). It is often mentioned as the emblem of purity (Ps. 68:13). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32); also of tender and devoted affection (Cant. 1:15; 2:14). David in his distress wished that he had the wings of a dove, that he might fly away and be at rest (Ps. 55:6-8). There is a species of dove found at Damascus "whose feathers, all except the wings, are literally as yellow as gold" (68:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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