Definition of Hooverville in English:



  • (in the US) a shanty town built by unemployed and destitute people during the Depression of the early 1930s.

    • ‘If the Great Depression brought forth Hoovervilles, these trailer towns may someday be known as Bushvilles.’
    • ‘Homeless migrants drive into towns and were directed to Hoovervilles, shantytowns.’
    • ‘There are images from the shanty town of Hooverville and the insides of churches and pubs that might have come straight from an Edward Hopper painting.’
    • ‘The letter accepting her into the exchange student program had given her a little information about Hooverville.’
    • ‘Another young man tells them they have just met the Mayor of Hooverville, which is what the campsite is called.’
    • ‘And this could bring back breadlines and Hoovervilles and 20% unemployment.’
    • ‘He writes in his memoirs that the social upheavals of the time - lynchings, strikes, Hoovervilles, mass poverty and unemployment - were distant from his secluded neighborhood.’
    • ‘The drama shows Annie's life as an orphan under the control of the mean-spirited matron of a New York orphanage, Miss Hannigan, who ‘hates little girls, ‘and her instant identification with the homeless Hooverville gang.’
    • ‘Once there, they were immediately struck by how different this camp was from the Hooverville.’
    • ‘They are all loath to leave the camp for another Hooverville, but they only have food for two more days.’
    • ‘The Hooverville - cheap housing erected for the homeless by President Hoover - in Central Park looks rather spiffy, if riot-prone.’
    • ‘The mayor of Hooverville has adopted a complacent attitude toward his situation.’
    • ‘The floating communities of jobless men in the nation's cities were dubbed Hoovervilles.’
    • ‘The Joads leave the Hooverville and move to a government camp for migrant workers.’
    • ‘Like Depression-era Hoovervilles, these encampments take on an air of semipermanence by the end of the tournament.’


Named after H.C. Hoover (see Hoover, Herbert), during whose presidency such accommodation was built (see also -ville).