Why was clemency trending last week?


[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.
Origin of hover
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hovered
  • When it was over, the doctors hovered anxiously over him.
  • It has hovered around this mark for the past few months, which has led some pundits to describe his presidency as on the brink.
  • The spiral fairly hovered above the landscape, its boundaries of piled rock etched in sharp relief.
  • The area covered by sea ice hovered near its historic low this summer.
  • The helicopter hovered above the surface for a moment, then crashed into the water and began to sink.
  • In fact, thick clouds hovered over much of the landing site at the designated touchdown time.
  • Television crews and news reporters hovered outside.
  • For much of the previous decade, the petroleum deficit hovered at a level around a third of the total trade deficit.
  • We rushed to the vet, where she hovered over an operating table trying to coax the little guy back to consciousness.
  • The tantalizing snack hovered above until a hungry fish was tempted to go for it.
British Dictionary definitions for hovered


(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 hovered



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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