What does heave mean?

Definitions for heave

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word heave.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. heave, heavingnoun

    an upward movement (especially a rhythmical rising and falling)

    "the heaving of waves on a rough sea"

  2. heavenoun

    (geology) a horizontal dislocation

  3. heave, heavingnoun

    the act of lifting something with great effort

  4. heave, retchnoun

    an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting

    "a bad case of the heaves"

  5. lift, raise, heavenoun

    the act of raising something

    "he responded with a lift of his eyebrow"; "fireman learn several different raises for getting ladders up"

  6. heave, heavingverb

    throwing something heavy (with great effort)

    "he gave it a mighty heave"; "he was not good at heaving passes"

  7. heaveverb

    utter a sound, as with obvious effort

    "She heaved a deep sigh when she saw the list of things to do"

  8. heaveverb

    throw with great effort

  9. billow, surge, heaveverb

    rise and move, as in waves or billows

    "The army surged forward"

  10. heave, heave up, heft, heft upverb

    lift or elevate

  11. heaveverb

    move or cause to move in a specified way, direction, or position

    "The vessel hove into sight"

  12. pant, puff, gasp, heaveverb

    breathe noisily, as when one is exhausted

    "The runners reached the finish line, panting heavily"

  13. heave, buckle, warpverb

    bend out of shape, as under pressure or from heat

    "The highway buckled during the heat wave"

  14. gag, heave, retchverb

    make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; strain to vomit


  1. heavenoun

    An upward motion; a rising; a swell or distention, as of the breast in difficult breathing, of the waves, of the earth in an earthquake, and the like.

  2. heavenoun

    An effort to raise something, as a weight, or one's self, or to move something heavy.

  3. heavenoun

    A horizontal dislocation in a metallic lode, taking place at an intersection with another lode.

  4. heavenoun

    The measure of extent to which a nautical vessel goes up and down in a short period of time. Compare with pitch.

  5. heaveverb

    To lift (generally); to raise, or cause to move upwards (particularly in ships or vehicles) or forwards.

  6. heaveverb

    To lift with difficulty; to raise with some effort; to lift (a heavy thing).

    We heaved the chest-of-doors on to the second-floor landing.

  7. heaveverb

    To displace (a vein, stratum).

  8. heaveverb

    To cause to swell or rise, especially in repeated exertions.

    The wind heaved the waves.

  9. heaveverb

    To rise and fall.

    Her chest heaved with emotion.

  10. heaveverb

    To utter with effort.

    She heaved a sigh and stared out of the window.

  11. heaveverb

    To throw, cast.

    The cap'n hove the body overboard.

  12. heaveverb

    To pull up with a rope or cable.

    Heave up the anchor there, boys!

  13. heaveverb

    To move in a certain direction or into a certain position or situation.

    The ship hove in sight.

  14. heaveverb

    To make an effort to vomit; to retch.

    The smell of the old cheese was enough to make you heave.

  15. Etymology: heven, hebben, from hebban, from habjanan (compare West Frisian heffe, Dutch heffen, German heben, Danish hæve), from kap- (compare Old Irish cáin 'law, tribute', cacht 'prisoner', Latin capio 'to take', Latvian kàmpt 'to seize', Albanian kap, Ancient Greek κάπτω, κώπη).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Heavenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    None could guess whether the next heave of the earthquake would settle them on the first foundation, or swallow them. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

    There’s matter in these sighs; these profound heaves
    You must translate; ’tis fit we understand them. William Shakespeare.

    But after many strains and heaves,
    He got up to his saddle eaves. Hudibras, p. i. cant. 1.

  2. To HEAVEverb

    pret. heaved, anciently hove; part. heaved, or hoven.

    So stretch’d out huge in length the arch fiend lay,
    Chain’d on the burning lake; nor ever hence Had ris’n, or heav’d his head, but that the will
    And high permission of all-ruling heaven
    Left him at large. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. i.

    Now we bear the king
    Tow’rd Calais: grant him there; and there being seen,
    Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
    Athwart the sea. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    So daunted, when the giant saw the knight,
    His heavy hand he heaved up on high,
    And him to dust thought to have batter’d quite. Fa. Queen.

    Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
    My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
    According to my bond, no more nor less. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    He dy’d in fight;
    Fought next my person, as in consort fought,
    Save when he heav’d his shield in my defence,
    And on his naked side receiv’d my wound. John Dryden, Don Seb.

    The groans of ghosts, that cleave the earth with pain,
    And heave it up: they pant and stick half way. Dryden.

    The glittering finny swarms,
    That heave our friths and croud upon our shores. James Thomson.

    Made she no verbal quest?
    —— Yes, once or twice she heav’d the name of father
    Pantingly forth, as if it prest her heart. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    The wretched animal heav’d forth such groans,
    That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
    Almost to bursting. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    Poor shadow, painted queen;
    One heav’d on high, to be hurl’d down below. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    The Scots, heaved up into high hope of victory, took the English for foolish birds fallen into their net, forsook their hill, and marched into the plain. John Hayward.

  3. To Heaveverb

    ’Tis such as you,
    That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
    At each his needless heavings; such as you
    Nourish the cause of his awaking. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    He heaves for breath, which, from his lungs supply’d,
    And fetch’d from far, distends his lab’ring side. Dryden.

    The church of England had struggled and heaved at a reformation ever since Wickliff’s days. Francis Atterbury.

    Thou hast made my curdled blood run back,
    My heart heave up, my hair to rise in bristles. Dryden.

    The wand’ring breath was on the wing to part;
    Weak was the pulse, and hardly heav’d the heart. Dryden.

    No object affects my imagination so much as the sea or ocean: I cannot see the heaving of this prodigious bulk of waters, even in a calm, without a very pleasing astonishment. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves. Matthew Prior.

    The heaving tide
    In widen’d circles beats on either side. John Gay, Trivia.


  1. heave

    Heave is a term that generally refers to a strong upward or downward movement, a physical act of lifting or throwing something, or the rising and falling motion. In geological terms, it is often used to describe a vertical displacement in the Earth's surface due to natural forces. In medical context, it refers to an act of vomiting.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Heaveverb

    to cause to move upward or onward by a lifting effort; to lift; to raise; to hoist; -- often with up; as, the wave heaved the boat on land

  2. Heaveverb

    to throw; to cast; -- obsolete, provincial, or colloquial, except in certain nautical phrases; as, to heave the lead; to heave the log

  3. Heaveverb

    to force from, or into, any position; to cause to move; also, to throw off; -- mostly used in certain nautical phrases; as, to heave the ship ahead

  4. Heaveverb

    to raise or force from the breast; to utter with effort; as, to heave a sigh

  5. Heaveverb

    to cause to swell or rise, as the breast or bosom

  6. Heaveverb

    to be thrown up or raised; to rise upward, as a tower or mound

  7. Heaveverb

    to rise and fall with alternate motions, as the lungs in heavy breathing, as waves in a heavy sea, as ships on the billows, as the earth when broken up by frost, etc.; to swell; to dilate; to expand; to distend; hence, to labor; to struggle

  8. Heaveverb

    to make an effort to raise, throw, or move anything; to strain to do something difficult

  9. Heaveverb

    to make an effort to vomit; to retch; to vomit

  10. Heavenoun

    an effort to raise something, as a weight, or one's self, or to move something heavy

  11. Heavenoun

    an upward motion; a rising; a swell or distention, as of the breast in difficult breathing, of the waves, of the earth in an earthquake, and the like

  12. Heavenoun

    a horizontal dislocation in a metallic lode, taking place at an intersection with another lode

  13. Etymology: [OE. heven, hebben, AS. hebban; akin to OS. hebbian, D. heffen, OHG. heffan, hevan, G. heben, Icel. hefja, Sw. hfva, Dan. hve, Goth. hafjan, L. capere to take, seize; cf. Gr. kw`ph handle. Cf. Accept, Behoof, Capacious, Forceps, Haft, Receipt.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Heave

    hēv, v.t. to lift up: to throw upward: to draw in any direction, as by a windlass: to cause to swell: to force from the breast: (geol.) to move away or displace (a vein or stratum).—v.i. to be raised: to rise and fall: to try to vomit:—pr.p. heav′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. heaved or (naut.) hōve.—n. an effort upward: a throw: a swelling: an effort to vomit: broken wind in horses.—ns. Heave′-off′ering, a voluntary Jewish offering lifted up before the Lord by the priest; Heav′er, one who, or that which, heaves; Heaves, a disease in horses; Heave′-shoul′der, the shoulder of an animal elevated in sacrifice; Heav′ing, a rising: swell: (Shak.) panting.—Heave ho! an exclamation used by sailors in putting forth exertion, as in heaving the anchor; Heave in sight, to come into view; Heave to, to bring a vessel to a stand-still, to make her lie to. [A.S. hebban, pa.t. hóf, pa.p. hafen; Ger. heben.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. HEAVE

    To raise. HEAVEN A good place to be raised to.

How to pronounce heave?

How to say heave in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of heave in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of heave in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of heave in a Sentence

  1. Scotty Miller:

    We were going to try to heave it like a Hail Mary type thing, they played me pretty much man-to-man and my guy didn’t get too much depth, so I was able to just run right by him. Then Tom put a great ball on me like he always does. It was a special moment. I don’t even know if I could have dreamed of it as a kid. It’s just so crazy.

  2. Newt Gingrich:

    I actually think it is very good for the long-run health of the administration that they're learning early that managing the Congress is a very difficult and very complicated job, if they'd been able to rush it through, they wouldn't heave learned just how hard everything in Congress is.

  3. John Miller:

    The heave-ho of everyone getting through -- you have Oath Keepers next to Proud Boys next to white supremacists, that's what makes this a dangerous time, the movement is energized and Proud Boys're emboldened by surprise success on [ January ] 6th. I think Proud Boys're surprised. Proud Boys didn't plan to Nth degree, and to be able to breach the pillar of democracy, that's going to motivate Proud Boys.

  4. Officer Daniel Hodges:

    The mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts… shouting ‘heave, ho,’ as they synchronized pushing their weight forward crushing me further against the metal doorframe, a man in front of me grabbed my baton… he bashed me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for heave

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for heave »


Find a translation for the heave definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"heave." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/heave>.

Discuss these heave definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for heave? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically
    • A. peccadillo
    • B. anil
    • C. reciprocal
    • D. nitrile

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for heave: