- dove (v.)
- past tense of dive (q.v.).
- dove (n.)
- probably from Old English dufe- (found only in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *dubon (source also of Old Saxon duba, Old Norse dufa, Swedish duva, Middle Dutch duve, Dutch duif, Old High German tuba, German Taube, Gothic -dubo), perhaps related to words for "dive," in reference to its flight.
Originally applied to all pigeons, now mostly restricted to the turtle dove. A symbol of gentleness from early Christian times, also of the Holy Spirit (as in Genesis viii.8-12), and of peace and deliverance from anxiety; political meaning "person who advocates peace" attested by 1917, from the Christian dove of peace.