Definition of hover in English:



  • 1 Remain in one place in the air.

    ‘Army helicopters hovered overhead’
    • ‘Helicopters were hovering above, circling the area.’
    • ‘I'd keep an eye out for helicopters hovering overhead if I were him, and I certainly would not allow my wife and children to drive the family vehicle any longer.’
    • ‘Overhead, black helicopters hover in military formation like giant birds of prey.’
    • ‘While the craft were on the lake, the Shannon rescue helicopter was hovering above and advised that another craft was on the lake near Portumna with no one on board.’
    • ‘Her car was pursued by a caravan of newspaper reporters, while television cameramen hovered overhead in helicopters.’
    • ‘A helicopter hovers overhead, a bit of air support for the ground troops.’
    • ‘By mid-morning, helicopters hovered overhead and police barked orders through bullhorns to keep order on the ground.’
    • ‘Overhead 10 helicopters hovered, cameramen and photographers ready to shoot the action.’
    • ‘The roads were closed for security reasons and helicopters were hovering over head.’
    • ‘Around midnight there was the all-too-familiar buzzing sound of the Garda helicopter hovering over the neighbourhood again.’
    • ‘The lad moved the bow across the fiddle strings, and the moment he did, the birds stopped flying overhead and hovered to listen.’
    • ‘An attempt on Wednesday was foiled when he was drowned out by a helicopter hovering overhead.’
    • ‘A year later, as I stood waiting for a bus that wasn't coming, helicopters hovered overhead.’
    • ‘Helicopters seemed to hover overhead constantly.’
    • ‘Overhead, a helicopter hovers at such a low height that it only just clears the occasional overpass bridges that appear.’
    • ‘The same gull hovered over the next green, but was driven away by the irate golfers.’
    • ‘Sumner compared it to the difference between a helicopter passing overhead or hovering.’
    • ‘A helicopter hovers overhead - possibly a government task team assessing the disaster-hit area - but then departs quickly again.’
    • ‘Army helicopters hovered overhead as mobile telephone networks were shut down to prevent crowds communicating.’
    • ‘Armed police with a back-up helicopter hovering overhead sealed off part of a village as a man terrorised his ex-partner at gunpoint.’
    • ‘More than 500 police backed up by helicopters hovering overhead were involved in raids across Sydney and Melbourne.’
    be suspended, be poised, hang, float, levitate, drift, fly, flutter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Remain poised uncertainly in one place or between two states.
      ‘her hand hovered over the console’
      ‘his expression hovered between cynicism and puzzlement’
      • ‘Leaden gray clouds hovered over the ancient burial ground.’
      • ‘His finger hovered over the play button on the boom box.’
      • ‘My left hand shook as it hovered over the holster to my gun.’
      • ‘Once more, Julia's endearingly grubby little hand hovered over the clasp of her tote.’
      • ‘My pen hovered over the box indicating interest in being a leader/co-leader.’
      • ‘Leanne's hand hovered over a large, blue button on her console, preparing to press it.’
      • ‘As his father's concerned face hovered over him, Joe grinned.’
      • ‘The car really was on a bad angle, hovered over the ditch like that, it looked like we'd had a terrible accident.’
      • ‘Her sweet customary scent, Evening of Paris, hovered over the tension of the car.’
      • ‘Her voice dipped to a purr as her lips hovered over his.’
      • ‘In the gathering dusk, a full moon hovered over the eastern sky.’
      • ‘The ice storm hovered over the Ontario and Quebec area until Jan. 14.’
      • ‘He was in the process of cutting up some kind of machine with a blow torch, several parts of it were on fire and a plume of oily smoke hovered over it.’
      • ‘He reached out with one hand, and it hovered over her shoulder.’
      • ‘I still love a good steak but I do miss that odd hint of petrochemicals that sometimes hovered over his meats.’
      • ‘A tenacious lone Black-winged kite hovered over the grassland even as darkness engulfed the hills.’
      • ‘With all her usual care, Agatha switched the machine on and moved the cursor slowly until it hovered over the Internet Explorer icon.’
      • ‘Every now and then a walker, runner or cyclist would pass, a squirrel searched for a tree in a totally treeless landscape and miner bees hovered over their holes.’
      • ‘Thick, low clouds hovered over Jay's house like fists ready to strike.’
      • ‘The lights were on from the start and the dark clouds hovered over the ground.’
    2. 1.2Linger close at hand in an uncertain manner.
      ‘she hovered anxiously in the background’
      • ‘He stood and hovered over her, worrying lighting his eyes.’
      • ‘The grandchildren hover close by, whispering and squirming bashfully if my glance falls upon them.’
      • ‘So he hovered close and waited, and in the middle of the third week, his vigilance paid off.’
      • ‘She hovered over her father, cleared a path for him, scanned the small crowd anxiously.’
      • ‘Isly hovered over him with a grin that rivaled his own.’
      • ‘The frightened teens hugged as Isabelle hovered over them.’
      • ‘Waiting for the perfect time, Angel hovered over the guards.’
      • ‘We hover close enough that I can see the matted clumps in the bear's shaggy, pale brown coat.’
      • ‘Christian hovered over her, his arms on either side of her.’
      • ‘A watchful father hovered over an infant; his hopes and feelings were expressed with tender strength.’
      • ‘Marina now hovered over me with a complete set of dental instruments, a blender, and what looked like a microwave wired into a lawnmower.’
      • ‘I cautiously hovered over it and a text-box popped up with the URL of the previous page in the weblog I was reading.’
      • ‘He hovered over me peering down at me with his blue eyes.’
      • ‘I remember my mum completely losing it and Nana just hovered over pop stroking his white hair back over and over.’
      • ‘My companion hovered over the fruit as if he'd never seen an orange before, which he probably hadn't.’
      • ‘The sun was coming up over the old Sears building as a gaggle of women hovered over their toddlers and scurried across the street to catch the 5 bus.’
      • ‘Dishes in hand, I hovered over the sink and smiled to myself.’
      • ‘He hovered over us, leering at our nubile young bodies, asking stupid questions and generally making us uncomfortable.’
      • ‘As I stammered my way to buying a bag of apples, and my classmates donned other wacky guises, Ralph hovered close by to cast a critical eye and ear over our performances.’
      • ‘We debated what to have while a waitress hovered over us.’
      linger, loiter, wait about, stay nearby
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Remain at or near a particular level.
      ‘inflation will hover around the 4 per cent mark’
      • ‘The CDC reported deaths as a whole from influenza hovering near epidemic levels.’
      • ‘By Friday's close they were hovering just above #12.’
      • ‘It hit a 12-month high of 6,835 on February 17 last, but once again it is hovering close to the 6,000 milestone.’
      • ‘Some, including Phillips, tried to hover within acceptable levels of steroid dosage.’
      • ‘Broken down socioeconomically, the figures for most backgrounds hovered around this level.’
      • ‘The men in red and black are also well positioned to retain their Super League crown as they are hovering near the top of the table with five matches to go.’
      • ‘The set didn't completely achieve lift-off, though it hovered very close at times.’
      • ‘It hovers perilously close to cheesy at times (think animal prints and acres of marble), but it positively reeks of a bygone era.’
      • ‘On the shopping list of items necessary to encourage cycling, indoor bike lockers hover near the top.’
      • ‘Crude oil prices are hovering around record levels and Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico has been cited as one of the reasons for the latest spikes.’
      • ‘As the price of oil hovers at near record highs it appears that car buyers are reining in their spending.’
      • ‘With fuel prices hovering near record high levels, can any carrier turn a profit?’
      • ‘Gas prices continue to hover near record levels, but if you think you're paying too much at the pump that may be the least of your worries.’
      • ‘Now he hovers close to breaching the 30% limit that would force him to make an offer for the whole company.’
      • ‘With Rovers currently hovering dangerously near the relegation zone, it's vital the players are not distracted from the task of trying to secure a priceless away win.’
      • ‘The oil production cartel meets in Vienna as prices continue to hover close to the $50 per barrel mark and amidst continued strong demand from China.’
      • ‘People were out in droves enjoying temperatures hovering near seventy.’
      • ‘Met Office spokesman Andy Yeateman said bitter north winds will keep temperatures hovering close to freezing on Christmas Day and some snow flakes could fall.’
      • ‘Shares initially hovered close to their opening mark as, for a fourth day in a row, traders were left without a lead from the US.’
      • ‘Together they ditched £155,000 of shares as the company's stock continued to hover around its highest level for three years.’
    4. 1.4Computing Use a mouse or other device to position the cursor over a particular area of a computer screen so as to cause a program to respond (typically by displaying additional information or options), without clicking a button on the device.
      ‘if you hover over the video, it will play a preview with sound’
      [with object] ‘you can hover your cursor over any button to see an explanation’


  • [in singular] An act of hovering.

    ‘keep the model in a stable hover’
    • ‘As we lifted on the signal, a squadron officer called for the pilot to bring the aircraft to a stable hover.’
    • ‘I fought my way toward spot 4, and the crewman signaled me to land as soon as I achieved a stable hover.’
    • ‘If your buoyancy control is good and the current is minimal, the three-plus minutes can be spent in a relaxing hover.’
    • ‘Four Sea Harriers lined up in a hover in front of the 100 or so personnel in the squadron at RNAS Yeovilton for an emotional decommissioning ceremony.’
    • ‘Like the other three Coastguard helicopters, the Sligo chopper is equipped with all the latest search and navigational equipment and has an automatic hover capability.’
    • ‘We located that raft and began the recovery process from as stable a hover as possible.’
    • ‘This occurs when you try to add power while in a near-vertical descent from a hover.’
    • ‘The helicopter settled into a hover seconds later and dropped its dipping sonar into the water.’
    • ‘He now felt the craft's movement as it slowed to a hover and descended to the landing site.’


Late Middle English: from archaic hove ‘hover, linger’, of unknown origin.