Definition of hive in English:



  • 1A beehive.

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

    ‘the kitchen became a hive of activity’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The studio has been transformed this morning into a hive of rabid shoe designers.’
    • ‘Wellstone sounded like righteous promise personified - and Minnesota like an idealist hive.’
    • ‘With the work complete just over a year ago, Airfield opened to the public and is now a hive of activity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jakarta's sprawling metropolis has become a close-knit hive of concern.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think I'll threaten to give myself the week off… just think of the hive of productivity I'd be then!’
    • ‘Thanks to e-mail, the modern workplace is a hive of covert communication and surreptitious sociability.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a hive of creativity, recognized globally as a fashion capital.’
    • ‘The Meeting House, Ballitore, was a hive of industry on Sunday January 25, when our correspondent called.’
    • ‘Carrey's body, like the film, is a hive of infinite possibilities.’
    • ‘Back to the contemptible hive of infamy from which you came!’
    • ‘For years now, R & B has been a hive of female empowerment.’
    • ‘It will rather be a hive of excitement and hospitality, music, song and dance, with four special events taking place.’
    • ‘The downstairs bar is a hive of diversity, with shoppers, tradesmen, suits and tourists contributing to the sociable atmosphere.’
    • ‘Their student unions were a hive of heated political debate and the campaign headquarters for radical plots to change the world.’
    • ‘A lot of people now don't bother going down to the communal area, when before it used to be a hive of life.’


  • 1 Place (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. 1.1[no 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’
      • ‘Sometimes some of these administrative duties were hived off to others.’
      • ‘They were reserved for local and national politicians, while business leaders were hived off to an economic and social committee.’
      • ‘Part of GM's job reduction plan includes hiving off some components operations.’
      • ‘Parker said he believed the contractor had hived the work off to a sub-contractor who didn't have a demolition license.’
      • ‘The armed forces lost their permanent seats in parliament, and the police were hived off from the army.’
      • ‘For them to then start hiving them off is not fair for local businesses who rely on them for their customers to park in.’
      • ‘Staff at the Teesside works have been told the plant will be hived off.’
      • ‘NHS workers whose jobs have been hived off to contractors frequently remain on much worse conditions than NHS staff.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


Old English hȳf, of Germanic origin.