Definition of Hooverville in US English:



  • A shantytown built by unemployed and destitute people during the Depression of the early 1930s.

    • ‘The floating communities of jobless men in the nation's cities were dubbed Hoovervilles.’
    • ‘Another young man tells them they have just met the Mayor of Hooverville, which is what the campsite is called.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘And this could bring back breadlines and Hoovervilles and 20% unemployment.’
    • ‘If the Great Depression brought forth Hoovervilles, these trailer towns may someday be known as Bushvilles.’
    • ‘Like Depression-era Hoovervilles, these encampments take on an air of semipermanence by the end of the tournament.’
    • ‘The Hooverville - cheap housing erected for the homeless by President Hoover - in Central Park looks rather spiffy, if riot-prone.’
    • ‘The letter accepting her into the exchange student program had given her a little information about Hooverville.’
    • ‘They are all loath to leave the camp for another Hooverville, but they only have food for two more days.’
    • ‘The mayor of Hooverville has adopted a complacent attitude toward his situation.’
    • ‘Once there, they were immediately struck by how different this camp was from the Hooverville.’
    • ‘Homeless migrants drive into towns and were directed to Hoovervilles, shantytowns.’
    • ‘The Joads leave the Hooverville and move to a government camp for migrant workers.’
    • ‘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.’


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