Definition of eaves in English:

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Pronunciation: /ēvz/

plural noun

The part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building.
Example sentences
  • Flying above all this are the wide overhanging eaves of the low slope timber roofs.
  • Its features include floors raised off the ground and steeply pitched roofs with deep overhanging eaves.
  • To accomplish this smoothly, place a straight edge down the slope of the roof overhanging the eave.


Old English efes (singular); of Germanic origin; related to German dialect Obsen, also probably to over.

  • In Old English eaves, then spelled efes, was a singular word, but the -s at the end made people think it was a plural, which is how we treat it today. If you eavesdrop you secretly listen to a conversation. The word was formed in the early 17th century from the old word eavesdropper (Late Middle English), ‘a person who listens from under the eaves’. Eavesdropper came from the noun eavesdrip or eavesdrop, ‘the ground on to which water drips from the eaves’. This was a concept in an ancient law which banned building closer than two feet from the boundary of your land, in case you damaged your neighbour's land by ‘eavesdrop’.

Words that rhyme with eaves

beeves, Greaves, Jeeves, leaves, Reeves, thieves

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: eaves

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