Dove vs dove

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Dove and dove are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words dove and dove, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Dove (duv) is a small bird with short legs that belongs to the Columbidae family. Generally, small Columbidae are called doves and large Columbidae are called pigeons. There are many species of doves, including the rock dove, the mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove, the European turtle dove, the spotted dove, the white-winged dove, the whistling dove, and hundreds of others. The dove has been a symbol of peace, innocence and purity for thousands of years. The word dove is derived from the Middle English word, douve.

Dove (dohv) is the past tense and past participle of the verb dive, most probably styled after the words drove and wove. Dove has been in the language approximately two centuries and is now standard in American and Canadian English. Outside North America the word dived is still more commonly used; some might consider the use of the word dove to be incorrect.


“It’s hard to say exactly how regional dove populations are affected by hurricanes and other extreme weather events,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department dove program leader. (The Valley Morning Star)

The “Giving Wings to the Dream” mural of multi-coloured arms and hands releasing a dove of peace into a bright blue Alberta sky is so popular it is highlighted online by international travellers as a “destination” to see and photograph in Calgary. (The Calgary Herald)

A fire captain said the man dove into a too-shallow pool, which led to the injury. (Metro West Daily News)

A friend suggested creating a blog as a way to find a community, and Clarke dove right in. (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)