Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small, miserable dwelling.
  • n. An open, low shed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An open shed for sheltering cattle, or protecting produce, etc., from the weather.
  • n. A poor cottage; a small, mean house; a hut.
  • n. In the manufacture of porcelain, a large, conical brick structure around which the firing kilns are grouped.
  • v. To put in a hovel; to shelter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An open shed for sheltering cattle, or protecting produce, etc., from the weather.
  • n. A poor cottage; a small, mean house; a hut.
  • n. A large conical brick structure around which the firing kilns are grouped.
  • transitive v. To put in a hovel; to shelter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put in or as in a hovel; house meanly.
  • To form like an open hovel or shed: as, to hovel a chimney. See hoveling.
  • n. An open shed for sheltering cattle, or for protecting produce, farming implements, etc., from the weather.
  • n. A poor cottage; a small mean house; a wretched habitation.
  • n. A canopy with hanging sides over a statue; a niche for a statue.
  • n. In porcelain manufacturing, a cone-shaped brick structure surrounded by the ovens or firing-kilns.

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

  • n. small crude shelter used as a dwelling

Etymologies

Middle English, hut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hovel, hovil, hovylle, diminutive of Old English hof ("an enclosure, court, dwelling, house"), from Proto-Germanic *hufan (“hill, farm”), from Proto-Indo-European *keup- (“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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the whole I'd say my hovel is no filthier than any other person of the bookseller persuasion.

    Still, life with bottle

  • She probably is not willing to build her own mud and tin hovel out by the dump and slap together tamales to sell door-to-door in order to make ends meet.

    Your low income/FM3 experiences

  • "She probably is not willing to build her own mud and tin hovel out by the dump and slap together tamales to sell door-to-door in order to make ends meet."

    Your low income/FM3 experiences

  • Our hovel is down a leafy and muddy lane, several hundred yards from the next house.

    Archive 2004-09-26

  • All nature takes pity upon this degraded and charming thing that you call a hovel, and welcomes it.

    The Memoirs of Victor Hugo

  • The most miserable of those who inhabited the hovel were a family of four persons, consisting of father, mother, and two daughters, already well grown, all four of whom were lodged in the same attic, one of the cells which we have already mentioned.

    Les Miserables

  • It was too slight even to be called a hovel, and was not high enough to stand upright in; appearing, in short, to be erected for the temporary shelter of fuel.

    The Woodlanders

  • No more than six paces square with a floor of hewn wood, to Buccari the hovel was a castle.

    Genellan- Planetfall

  • Had anyone told her a few short months ago, on the night that she had first seen what she had inwardly called a hovel, that she would ever leave it with any faintest feeling of regret, she would have called him mad.

    The Land of Promise

  • The soil and the hovel were his, descended to him from his forbears!

    The Story of Russia

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  • Levo, hang a salsa romano on Amora's lasagna hovel.

    October 18, 2008