heave

Definitions

General English

  • noun a strong hard pull
  • verb to pull something hard
  • verb to breathe heavily

Construction

Real Estate

  • noun unwanted upward movement in the foundations of a building

Slang

  • verb to retch or vomit. A literal, rather than metaphorical usage.

Origin & History of “heave”

Heave is part of a major family of English words that can trace their ancestry back to Indo-European *kap- ‘seize’. One of its Latin descendants was the verb capere ‘take’, which has given English capable, capacious, capstan, caption, captious, capture, case (for carrying things), cater, chase, prince, and many others. To Germanic it gave *khabjan, from which come German heben ‘lift’ and English heave (which also originally meant ‘lift’; ‘throw’ and ‘haul’ are 16th-century developments). Haft (OE) (literally ‘something by which one seizes or holds on to something’) and heavy are derived from the same base as heave, and have may be related.

Hefty (19th c.) comes from heft ‘weight, heaviness’ (16th c.), which was formed from heave on the analogy of such pairs as weave and weft.
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