There are 2 main definitions of dove in English:

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dove 1

Pronunciation: /dʌv/


1A stocky bird with a small head, short legs, and a cooing voice, feeding on seeds or fruit. Doves are generally smaller and more delicate than pigeons, but many kinds have been given both names.
Example sentences
  • Nestling pigeons and doves grow rapidly because of the crop-milk.
  • I also see hornbills pass up small-fruited figs that would draw doves and pigeons in by the hundreds.
  • The Mourning Dove is the most slender of Washington's pigeons and doves.
2A person who advocates peaceful or conciliatory policies, especially in foreign affairs: he was the cabinet’s leading dove, the only minister to advocate peace talks Compare with hawk1 (sense 2 of the noun).
More example sentences
  • We at Dimpler Towers are thinking that siding with the doves over policy may not be such a bad idea.
  • As well as claiming a growing international consensus for action, he appears to have silenced - albeit temporarily - the doves in his own Cabinet.
  • But doubts go all the way up to doves inside his cabinet, prompting fears of the biggest split in the Labour movement since the formation of the SDP.
3 (Dove) (In Christian art and poetry) the Holy Spirit (as represented in John 1:32).
Example sentences
  • The story of Catherine is that she was put in prison, where she was fed by a Dove and saw a vision of Christ.



Example sentences
  • What joy, then, when the dovelike Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost.


Pronunciation: /ˈdʌvɪʃ/
sense 2.
Example sentences
  • The better analogy for my dovish but principled friends would be some bird that can attack other birds - but chooses not to.
  • The answer is not, my dovish friends, as obvious as you seem to think.
  • Neoconservatives and neoliberals just have different basic ways of approaching foreign policy - neither necessarily more hawkish or dovish.


Middle English: from Old Norse dúfa.

  • The dove gets its name from Old Norse dufa. In politics a dove, a person who advocates peaceful or conciliatory policies, contrasts with a hawk, a more warlike hardliner. The terms emerged in the early 1960s at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, when the Soviet Union threatened to install missiles in Cuba within striking distance of the USA. More generally, the dove has long been a symbol of peace and calm, in reference to the dove sent out by Noah after the Flood ( see olive), and is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian iconography.

Words that rhyme with dove

behove, clove, cove, drove, fauve, grove, interwove, Jove, mauve, rove, shrove, stove, strove, trove, wove above, glove, guv, love, shove, tug-of-love
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There are 2 main definitions of dove in English:

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dove 2

Pronunciation: /dəʊv/
North American
Past of dive.
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