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British English
This page is about the eponym hoover


a vacuum cleaner; a machine for cleaning house and car interiors; also a verb

For example

  • I'll get the hoover and give the inside of this car a good cleaning.

  • If you drop some powder on the carpet, just hoover it up before you go please.

Origin: William Henry Hoover (1849-1932) was an American businessman who in 1908 founded The Hoover Company, making vacuum cleaners. The business expanded to Europe, where "hoover" became synonymous with vacuums and vacuuming.


This is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

You would normally use a hoover to

a. create a vacuum

b. clean the floor

c. spray powder

Contributor: Tara Benwell