Definition of Hoover in English:



  • A vacuum cleaner, properly one made by the Hoover company.

    • ‘After all, what can be more humdrum than a team of people armed with Hoovers, dusters and cans of furniture polish sweeping through a building?’
    • ‘There's a plastic railway buffet display unit for sandwiches on the worktop, genuine adverts, circa 1962, for Hoovers on the walls, and a Bakelite radio on the windowsill.’
    • ‘They call one these little water heaters a Junkers for the same reason people call a vacuum cleaner a Hoover and a disposable handkerchief a Kleenex.’
    • ‘With their famous prancing horse insignia and red livery, Ferraris are racing cars in the same way that Hoovers are vacuum cleaners or Rizlas are cigarette papers.’
    • ‘The magazine, aimed at women with advice on lifestyle issues and consumer products ranging from Hoovers to holidays, has existed in the UK since 1922.’
    vacuum cleaner
    View synonyms


  • 1with object Clean (something) with a vacuum cleaner.

    ‘he was hoovering the stairs’
    • ‘‘She's not going to notice if you've hoovered the floor,’ he insisted quietly, pressing his fist against my chin gently.’
    • ‘I have a feeling he'd be one to move to the suburbs and expect me to wear pearls while I'm hoovering the carpet.’
    • ‘All I have left to do is to hoover the floor, do a small amount of washing up and change the bedsheets, all of which I'll do tomorrow afternoon.’
    • ‘By the time they left at eight thirty, she'd scrubbed the kitchen floor, hoovered the carpet, and polished the TV screen - while he was watching it.’
    • ‘Someone else hoovers the carpet before you think it needs doing.’
    • ‘I start to hoover the lounge, and so nearly miss the telephone ringing.’
    • ‘Animals get the star treatment - cows are hoovered clean while attentive stable hands polish every inch of the horses' hooves.’
    • ‘Stephen was hoovering next door and I kept interrupting him to ask questions.’
    • ‘An Asian girl hoovering the corridor produced a copy of the Intoxicant CD and got him to autograph the liner.’
    • ‘You can hoover the carpet when you think it needs doing.’
    • ‘People think I'm mad, but I have been know to hoover my curtains.’
    • ‘Three staff members are working away - Li Min who is Chinese and is proudly fixing his footwear display, Sarah Casserly is counting the money in her till and Jackie Power is hoovering the floor.’
    • ‘So Sanjay washes his own windows, hoovers his own floors and racks his brains.’
    • ‘I am currently finding it virtually impossible to relax, which means that the washing up is always done and I have to fight the urge to constantly hoover the carpet.’
    • ‘Yesterday I was hoovering the cupboard in which I live, and I found some detritus on the floor by my bookcase.’
    • ‘It was great to see old friends and work without bothering about whether the light bulbs need changing or the bins need taking out or whose turn it is to hoover the gallery.’
    • ‘I couldn't sleep for the hair that had fallen out tickling my face, and I had to get my mother to hoover my pillow every day.’
    • ‘Since I came home I've hung the washing out (I'm leaving it out in the hope it's sunny again tomorrow), watered my plants and hoovered the upstairs of the house.’
    • ‘We took Debbie's car to the car wash last night, we hoovered the car first, I was doing my best with the length of hose available while Debbie was supervising.’
    • ‘Marie is the mother of the flat, she's really clean and leaves notes around: ‘Boys, hoover the floor!’’
    brush, clean, scrub, wipe, mop, dust, scour, scrape, rake, buff
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    1. 1.1hoover something up Suck something up with or as if with a vacuum cleaner.
      ‘hoover up all the dust’
      • ‘Three days now, and no more bombs - makes one wonder how many people from the network have been hoovered up.’
      • ‘He didn't talk so much as honk, and the merriment he evinced at his own jests produced a laugh that sounded like snot being hoovered up with a surgical tube.’
      • ‘As well as sustaining many sea birds, they are hoovered up by the ton for the animal feed industry and over-fishing is probably involved.’
      • ‘Any big fish off the west African coast are hoovered up out at sea, by technology and resources beyond the reach of the canoe fishermen, and taken to feed the appetite of western consumers.’
      • ‘At present the Spaniards, with EEC aid, are building large powerful trawlers to hoover the fish stocks off Africa.’
      • ‘The pages may be smaller but there appears to be no reduction in words: the broader columns seem to hoover them up.’
      • ‘But the real price is paid in dead corals, as fewer of the giant gastropods roam the ocean floor, searching for starfish to hoover the insides out of.’
      • ‘Well, you hoover them up with a E-Z Catch Harvester!’
      • ‘The sand eels - which support the marine food chain from cod and mackerel to kittiwakes - are mainly hoovered up by the Danes, who use their oil to power electricity-producing generators, while the remains go into agricultural feeds.’
    2. 1.2hoover something upinformal Consume something quickly and eagerly.
      ‘he hoovered up three slices of cake’
      • ‘Any available baubles must be hoovered up and, with league hopes looking as forlorn as ever, that means the cups.’
      • ‘I'd love to tell you about the fruit, but I glanced away for a moment and Ella hoovered it up.’
      • ‘Chuan, the dog, sat under the table and hoovered the crumbs that fell.’
      • ‘After standing in the middle of this takeaway, hoovering his chicken up before they'd even finished preparing the rest of his order, what does he briskly spin around and bark at me, in front of a crowd of at least 20?’
      • ‘I took in a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for the office, and they were hoovered up with great excitement - then later, I got a huge and beautiful bunch of flowers, and gift vouchers.’
      • ‘The drum beat gets faster and faster, the elephants are hoovering food, and the blue-suited mahouts whirl in the rain like dervishes.’
      • ‘As he hoovers it up I ask what he would really like to eat.’
      • ‘Kilos of cocaine were hoovered up by the spectacularly famous and indulgent in the 1970s when, as Bob puts it, ‘lines were offered around like cups of coffee.’’
      • ‘Five other manuscripts were hoovered up by a different determined telephone bidder who is thought to be an American collector of scientific books.’
      • ‘I haven't taken any nuts with me for a few months but previously I was followed by several crafty crows who usually spy where I have thrown the nuts and then go and hoover them up.’
      • ‘No doubt the Waratahs will be inspired by a 45,000 capacity crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium - tickets were hoovered up when they went on sale last week.’
      • ‘Normally not seen tackling anything weightier than the new Jimmy Choo catalogue or the FáshionWeek seating plan, New York's fashionistas have been hoovering it up.’


1920s: named after W. H. Hoover (see Hoover, William).