Definition of hive in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /hʌɪv/


1A beehive.
Example sentences
  • In addition, nonhumans would own what they build, such as hives and nests.
  • Move slowly, especially through overhanging vegetation and brush, to avoid disturbing nests and hives.
  • If you overwinter your hive, don't harvest all the honey from the hive.
1.1The bees in a hive.
Example sentences
  • The fly then emerges from its host, ready to infect other members of the hive.
  • Still the pod drew nearer to the hive and risked entering the swarm.
  • The state has 440,000 bee hives and beekeepers from other states drive their hives in each year to supplement them.
1.2A thing that has the domed shape of a beehive.
Example sentences
  • So, we have put the nuc into a full-size hive and are crossing our fingers.
  • As if to literalize the longing of the title, a breathtakingly extended axle-like element joins a towering wheel to a tall woven hive shape.
2A place in which people are busily occupied: the kitchen became a hive of activity
More example sentences
  • Irish roads are a hive of activity as family members crisscross the countryside en route to family events.
  • With the work complete just over a year ago, Airfield opened to the public and is now a hive of activity.
  • A lot of people now don't bother going down to the communal area, when before it used to be a hive of life.


[with object]
1Place (bees) in a hive: smoke is used to subdue bees when taking and hiving a swarm
More example sentences
  • However, in getting the bees hived, one may be charged with trespassing.
  • However the bees hived over it have never seemed to thrive, and always appeared less active when compared to the other swarms hived at the same time.
1.1 [no object] (Of bees) enter a hive.
Example sentences
  • I have bees hiving between the siding and the studs by our side door.
  • According to legend, the invading Tibetans were set upon by bees hiving in the nearby woods.

Phrasal verbs

hive something off

chiefly British Separate something from a larger group or organization: the printing department was hived off in a management buyout
More example sentences
  • The paper's staff haven't taken too kindly to the way in which this internet offshoot has been hived off into a separate division.
  • The logic was that police and prison officers could be freed-up for frontline duties if the job was hived off to a private company.
  • They were reserved for local and national politicians, while business leaders were hived off to an economic and social committee.


Old English hȳf, of Germanic origin.

  • This Germanic word is probably related to Old Norse húfr ‘hull of a ship’ and Latin cupa ‘tub, cask’. Early hives were conical and made of straw.

Words that rhyme with hive

alive, arrive, chive, Clive, connive, contrive, deprive, dive, drive, five, gyve, I've, jive, live, MI5, revive, rive, shrive, skive, strive, survive, swive, thrive

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hive

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.