Hive mind

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Hive mind is an expression that was first used in the 1950s, but its usage has grown in the last several decades. We will examine the definition of hive mind, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A hive mind is a collective mentality, the collective ideas of a group of people. The idea is that this collection of ideas, thoughts, and opinions appears to spring from one source, when in reality, it is an amalgamation of many people’s ideas, thoughts and opinions coalescing into an agreement. The term hive mind seems to have originally been coined by science fiction writer James H. Schmitz in his short story, Second Night of Summer. His idea of the hive mind correlates to the way a colony of bees behaves, as if it were directed by a single intelligence. All wild bees whether bumblebees, Africanized bees, honey bees, etc., living in a bee colony or domesticated bees living in an apiary sometimes behave as if they are telepathic. Bee research has shown that members of a bee population communicate, as worker bees do when they perform a waggle dance. The dance language in this bee dance directs a fellow worker bee to pollen, helping to boost honey production for the queen bee, especially in honey bee colonies. The term hive mind was used sporadically until the advent of social media on the internet. Today, hive mind may be used derisively to mean the ideas and opinions generated by a group of people who tend to conform to each other, following the most vocal leader. However, the hive mind is sometimes referred to favorably when a group of people on the internet can harness their knowledge and talents to solve a problem or help someone in trouble. Hive mind is a compound word. Compounds or compound words are words that are derived from two separate words joined together. Hive mind is usually rendered as an open compound word, or two words with a space between them, as found in the Oxford English Dictionary. Sometimes it is rendered as a hyphenated compound word, hive-mind, or a closed compound word, hivemind, particularly when using it to describe something that occurs on the internet.


While it may have been easier to predict what Kate Middleton and Prince William would name their children, we have a sneaking suspicion that Meghan and Harry will choose a moniker that no one, not even the royal-crazy hive mind, will be able figure out.  (The Observer)

The big news: At the very end of the Supergirl finale, Eve Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks) was approached by a seemingly hive mind entity called Leviathan while trying to go on the run after Lex Luthor’s (Jon Cryer) death.  (The Hollywood Reporter)

Oh dear, it seems the monolithic hive mind is having another one of its glitches (The Australian)

Matthias and Maxime’s new secret affects their friends’ hive-mind without anyone quite acknowledging or grasping it, resulting in a monumentally violent argument about the rules of charades. (The Guardian)