Definition of hive in English:



  • 1A beehive.

    • ‘Move slowly, especially through overhanging vegetation and brush, to avoid disturbing nests and hives.’
    • ‘When I throw this rock at the hive, we both have to run straight at the hive and scoop it up into the shirt.’
    • ‘The hum from the hive rises threateningly when it is disturbed.’
    • ‘Now, farmers have introduced more innovatively designed hives from Germany while still making the hive out of local wood.’
    • ‘He arrives with a special poison and pours it into the hive.’
    • ‘The brick was not dropped on top of the hive because there were height differences between the source colony hives.’
    • ‘However, when fully ‘sealed over’ and ripened in the hive, the honey acquired its characteristic taste and flavour.’
    • ‘Whether you have your own hive or you pick up honey in the store, below are some ideas on how you can use this sweetener.’
    • ‘To restock the hive would cost around £50 and the entire crop of honey, worth about £140, is also useless.’
    • ‘Enjoy nature and learn from the flight of birds, the green of the trees, the insects that carry life with them to the hive.’
    • ‘They were transferred to a hive and then taken out to Kent.’
    • ‘If you overwinter your hive, don't harvest all the honey from the hive.’
    • ‘A swarm of bees arrived in Derrybeg last Sunday and decided to make a hive in a chimney pot in Third Avenue.’
    • ‘A soldier ran up and fired shots at it until it dropped the hive and ran off into the forest.’
    • ‘In the winter they have no use, and are expelled from the hive.’
    • ‘I'm just trying to locate exactly where the hive's at.’
    • ‘Regardless, I scooped more up from the hive and scoffed them down.’
    • ‘The bees raise the virgin queens until mature at which time the beekeeper transfers them into a small hive called a nucleus.’
    • ‘In addition, nonhumans would own what they build, such as hives and nests.’
    • ‘Two market executive members - Ron Rudiak and Tom Fast each have a table selling honey, fresh from the hive.’
    1. 1.1 The bees in a hive.
      • ‘But they are my responsibility, and it's always heartbreaking if a hive dies out.’
      • ‘I know Morrissey sounds like he's trying to swallow a hive of honeybees, but this is a fantastic live album.’
      • ‘One hive, he said, could produce 300 hives in three years.’
      • ‘Such social hymenoptera may live together in nests or hives of many thousands of individuals, all descended form a single queen.’
      • ‘Still the pod drew nearer to the hive and risked entering the swarm.’
      • ‘The fly then emerges from its host, ready to infect other members of the hive.’
      • ‘The state has 440,000 bee hives and beekeepers from other states drive their hives in each year to supplement them.’
      swarm, flock, flight, covey, drove, herd
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A thing that has the domed shape of a beehive.
      • ‘So, we have put the nuc into a full-size hive and are crossing our fingers.’
      • ‘As if to literalize the longing of the title, a breathtakingly extended axle-like element joins a towering wheel to a tall woven hive shape.’
  • 2A place in which people are busily occupied.

    ‘the kitchen became a hive of activity’
    • ‘The studio has been transformed this morning into a hive of rabid shoe designers.’
    • ‘It will rather be a hive of excitement and hospitality, music, song and dance, with four special events taking place.’
    • ‘I only have to look around at the hive of inactivity that is my pad, to see that I am not worthy of a feature in Homes & Interiors.’
    • ‘Carrey's body, like the film, is a hive of infinite possibilities.’
    • ‘It is a hive of creativity, recognized globally as a fashion capital.’
    • ‘Wellstone sounded like righteous promise personified - and Minnesota like an idealist hive.’
    • ‘Another idea is to move the pelican crossing outside the garage to the east of the entrance because it is seen as a hive of anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘The downstairs bar is a hive of diversity, with shoppers, tradesmen, suits and tourists contributing to the sociable atmosphere.’
    • ‘For years now, R & B has been a hive of female empowerment.’
    • ‘Thanks to e-mail, the modern workplace is a hive of covert communication and surreptitious sociability.’
    • ‘A lot of people now don't bother going down to the communal area, when before it used to be a hive of life.’
    • ‘Their student unions were a hive of heated political debate and the campaign headquarters for radical plots to change the world.’
    • ‘The phrase conjured up the image of a hive of busy accountants in green eyeshades, scouring the tax code for hidden exemptions.’
    • ‘Irish roads are a hive of activity as family members crisscross the countryside en route to family events.’
    • ‘With the work complete just over a year ago, Airfield opened to the public and is now a hive of activity.’
    • ‘The Meeting House, Ballitore, was a hive of industry on Sunday January 25, when our correspondent called.’
    • ‘Jakarta's sprawling metropolis has become a close-knit hive of concern.’
    • ‘I think I'll threaten to give myself the week off… just think of the hive of productivity I'd be then!’
    • ‘Back to the contemptible hive of infamy from which you came!’
    • ‘The house next door is for sale - again - and all I can foresee for the future is a hive of students who throw 24-hour-wrap-around parties.’


[with object]
  • 1Place (bees) in a hive.

    ‘smoke is used to subdue bees when taking and hiving a swarm’
    • ‘However, in getting the bees hived, one may be charged with trespassing.’
    • ‘However the bees hived over it have never seemed to thrive, and always appeared less active when compared to the other swarms hived at the same time.’
    1. 1.1no object (of bees) enter a hive.
      • ‘I have bees hiving between the siding and the studs by our side door.’
      • ‘According to legend, the invading Tibetans were set upon by bees hiving in the nearby woods.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • hive something off

    • Separate something from a larger group or organization.

      ‘the printing department was hived off in a management buyout’
      • ‘They were reserved for local and national politicians, while business leaders were hived off to an economic and social committee.’
      • ‘Much of the road powers are being hived off to Brussels anyway.’
      • ‘The logic was that police and prison officers could be freed-up for frontline duties if the job was hived off to a private company.’
      • ‘Allen's little book is a sober analysis of the issues and problems involved in hiving off a new Balmain Council.’
      • ‘For them to then start hiving them off is not fair for local businesses who rely on them for their customers to park in.’
      • ‘The authority's Building Maintenance Service is to be hived off to the Kier Group.’
      • ‘Staff at the Teesside works have been told the plant will be hived off.’
      • ‘Part of GM's job reduction plan includes hiving off some components operations.’
      • ‘Sometimes some of these administrative duties were hived off to others.’
      • ‘A showpiece leisure centre and concert venue opened just 10 years ago in York could be flattened as part of a plan to hive it off to the private sector.’
      • ‘I hope the FA will look at their rules with a view to strengthening them to prevent their assets being hived off and sold in a property deal.’
      • ‘Parker said he believed the contractor had hived the work off to a sub-contractor who didn't have a demolition license.’
      • ‘If it can generate a return on its investments it could become self-funding, or be hived off as an independent investment company.’
      • ‘Thankfully, the leaky marine division has been hived off.’
      • ‘The paper's staff haven't taken too kindly to the way in which this internet offshoot has been hived off into a separate division.’
      • ‘Authorities should aim at hiving off the two companies from the state coffers.’
      • ‘The armed forces lost their permanent seats in parliament, and the police were hived off from the army.’
      • ‘NHS workers whose jobs have been hived off to contractors frequently remain on much worse conditions than NHS staff.’
      • ‘The most likely outcome is for the worst brokerages to be hived off to asset management firms or handed to larger, better-run securities firms.’


Old English hȳf, of Germanic origin.