Which is correct: "hover a link" or "hover over a link"?

(context: hovering a mouse over a computer hyperlink)

I'd especially appreciate a reference (like a dictionary citation) so that I learn how to figure that kind of thing out by reading a dictionary.

And what about a hawk hovering over its prey - can one say the hawk is "hovering its prey"?

  • Both are correct as professionals in the field usually say "hover the link ". However, Google' search results says, "hover over" is more common.
    – Eilia
    Jan 4, 2016 at 13:12
  • Re: learning how to figure that kind of thing out by reading a dictionary, open the verb's entry in a dictionary of your liking and look for the terms transitive or intransitive (which your edit suggests you are aware of). In this case, if we take e.g. Merriam-Webster, the definition reads "intransitive verb". So you can hover in a boat, or over the ground. But you cannot hover a boat, nor can you hover the ground.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jan 4, 2016 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


The second one which is 'hover over a link' is correct. The meaning to the word hover is to hang fluttering or suspended in the air, to keep lingering about; wait near at hand, to remain in an uncertain or irresolute state; waver.n

In the context you mentioned, the cursor is imagined to be moving above and over the hyperlink. Hence, hover over is the right choice. Similarly, hovering over its prey is right because of the same reason.

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. Linking just a website is not encouraged in this community as your link can become invalid if the linked page changes. Please include essential parts of the link in your post and make sure that you take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
    – user140086
    Jan 4, 2016 at 12:57
  • 1
    Dear Rathony, Thank you for you suggestion. I'll correct it and take the tour.
    – bluebird
    Jan 4, 2016 at 13:03
  • My pleasure. You need to put @ before a display name like @Rathony to send a message. Your message came to my inbox as I am the only one who commented here, but just in case. Good luck and welcome!
    – user140086
    Jan 4, 2016 at 13:05

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