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.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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