from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb slang to clean with a vacuum cleaner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vacuum cleaner (irrespective of brand).
  • verb transitive, UK To clean (a room, etc) with a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
  • verb intransitive, UK To use a vacuum cleaner, irrespective of brand.
  • verb transitive To suck in or inhale, as if by a vacuum cleaner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun United States industrialist who manufactured vacuum cleaners (1849-1932)
  • noun 31st President of the United States; in 1929 the stock market crashed and the economy collapsed and Hoover was defeated for reelection by Franklin Roosevelt (1874-1964)
  • noun a kind of vacuum cleaner
  • noun United States lawyer who was director of the FBI for 48 years (1895-1972)
  • verb clean with a vacuum cleaner


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The common noun and verb are taken from the brand name Hoover of one of the first vacuum cleaners.


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  • verb: to clean with a vacuum cleaner

    August 1, 2007

  • Or to consume food the way a vacuum cleaner cleans. ;-)

    August 1, 2007

  • Nobody does it like you.

    August 2, 2007

  • " does this contribute to the growing problem of “digital litter�? in which people are leaving crumbs of personal information all over the web, in a way that makes it very difficult to hoover up at a later date, if they so desire." --

    September 6, 2007

  • Something I've been thinking about lately. One site I spend a lot of time on is Facebook. Recently they announced that their member database is becoming searchable, meaning my profile could appear on Google. Not in its entirety, granted, just a header and my picture. Still, it's opt-out if I don't want to be included in that (seems like it should be opt-in). And who knows what other privacy issues they will loosen up on in the future? The thought occurred to me that if, for whatever reason, I stopped using Facebook, my information might one day become very public of its own accord. Yikes!

    September 6, 2007

  • And let's not forget about Hoovervilles.

    November 12, 2007

  • Nobody does it like you, the way that you do, C_B, nobody, does it like you.

    November 13, 2007

  • Rare in AmE, where it is not understood generically, but may reference Hoover the brand. Use vacuum instead

    March 31, 2011

  • Its used too on css scripts. Hoover is when you put the cursor over a link.

    April 1, 2011

  • I'm no expert on CSS scripts, but wouldn't that be hovver?

    April 1, 2011

  • You know CSS, yarb. Corn syrup solids.

    April 1, 2011

  • It's what's for dinner!

    April 1, 2011