Hovels on the waterfront.
- The definition of a hovel is a small shelter, or a low, open shed.
An example of a hovel is a tiny cramped apartment.
- Hovel is defined as to shelter or store in a tiny space.
An example of hovel is for a squirrel to store nuts in a tiny hole.
- A small, miserable dwelling.
- An open, low shed.
Origin of hovelMiddle English, hut.
(third-person singular simple present hovels, present participle hovelling or hoveling, simple past and past participle hovelled or hoveled)
- To put in a hovel; to shelter.
From Middle English hovel, hovil, hovylle, diminutive of Old English hof (“an enclosure, court, dwelling, house”), from Proto-Germanic *hufą (“hill, farm”), from Proto-Indo-European *kewp- (“arch, bend, buckle”), equivalent to howf + -el. Cognate with Dutch hof (“garden, court”), German Hof (“yard, garden, court, palace”), Icelandic hof (“temple, hall”). Related to hove and hover.