The Meaning of Haven: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the word haven means? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word haven, including its meaning, usage, synonyms, origin, and more!

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What does the word haven mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word haven is a noun that refers to a safe station or shelter. This place of safety can be an official place of refuge, a place of safety for wildlife, or a place where one can harbor a sanctuary. Haven can also be used figuratively. One might find a safe haven of peace in a book or movie. A haven might be a sheltered port where someone can discharge cargo by the mouth of a river or creek, a small port in New York, or a more traditional safe haven. This word can also be used with reference to the stock market, where people might pull out stocks and seek a safe haven in cash from the accommodative monetary policy. Haven is also on the list of popular baby names for both baby boy and baby girl names.

Many different languages also contain words that mean have. You may notice that some of these translations of haven from Word Sense look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words have the same language of origin or root. 

  •  Finnish: turvapaikka‎
  •  Dutch: vrijhaven‎ (fem.), toevluchtsoord‎ (masc.)
  •  French: asile‎ (masc.), refuge‎ (masc.), abri‎ (masc.), havre‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: fristad‎, tillflyktsort‎ (common)
  •  Danish: tilflugtssted‎ (neut.), refugium‎ (neut.), fristed‎ (neut.)
  •  Russian: убе́жище‎ (neut.), укры́тие‎ (neut.), прибе́жище‎ (neut.), приста́нище‎ (neut.), прию́т‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: καταφύγιο‎ (neut.)
  •  Maori: piringa‎, punanga‎, tuohunga‎, whakamaurutanga‎, āhuru mōwai‎
  •  Japanese: 避難所‎ (ひなんじょ, hinanjo)
  •  Hungarian: rév‎, menedék‎
  •  Spanish: asilo‎ (masc.), refugio‎ (masc.)
  •  Mandarin: 避難所‎, 避难所‎ (bìnànsuǒ)
  •  German: Zufluchtsort‎ (masc.)
  •  Serbo-Croatian: sklonište‎, pribježište‎, luka spasa‎, refugij‎
  •  Korean: 피난처‎ (避難所‎)
  •  Portuguese: refúgio‎ (masc.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word haven?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word haven. These words are called synonyms. Synonyms are words that mean the same thing as a given word or phrase, and that can be used interchangeably. One might choose to use a synonym to expand their own vocabulary, to avoid repeating themselves, or to choose a word that makes the most sense for the context. The below list of synonyms for the word haven is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  oasis
  •  roof over head
  •  ports
  •  hiding place
  •  refuge
  •  dockyard
  •  oases
  •  seaport
  •  resting-place
  •  landing place
  •  shelters
  •  ark
  •  retreats
  •  adyta
  •  safe haven
  •  landing-place
  •  seaports
  •  retreat
  •  quayside
  •  port in a storm
  •  guard
  •  stronghold
  •  home port
  •  shipyard
  •  wharf
  •  have privacy
  •  landing
  •  roof
  •  boatyard
  •  harbor
  •  coastal town
  •  escape
  •  lair
  •  harborage
  •  harbors
  •  place of refuge
  •  holt
  •  safe house
  •  resort
  •  covert
  •  be safe
  •  sanctuaries
  •  hideaway
  •  stopping place
  •  sanctuary
  •  safety
  •  safe harbor
  •  shelter
  •  homestead
  •  place of safety
  •  mooring
  •  fireside
  •  anchorage
  •  bolthole
  •  dockage
  •  pier
  •  roads
  •  bolt hole
  •  hide-out
  •  bolt-hole
  •  tent city
  •  waterfront
  •  man cave
  •  lodge
  •  harbour
  •  protection
  •  cove
  •  asylums
  •  embankment
  •  landing stage
  •  roadstead
  •  protect
  •  breakwater
  •  harbor of refuge
  •  dugout
  •  sanctum
  •  safe place
  •  home
  •  island
  •  refuges
  •  marina
  •  den
  •  safeguard
  •  habitat
  •  quarterage
  •  dock
  •  hermitage
  •  port
  •  moorage
  •  harbourage
  •  hideout
  •  asylum
  •  berth
  •  resting place
  •  quay
  •  destination
  •  docks
  •  bulwark
  •  shield
  •  cover

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word haven – these opposite words are called antonyms, which are another quick and easy way to improve and expand your English vocabulary. This list of antonyms of haven is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  get tense
  •  death trap
  •  crapshoot
  •  dare
  •  at hazard
  •  from the risk
  •  deep blue sea
  •  cannot risk
  •  any chances
  •  against the risks
  •  chancing
  •  at the risk
  •  face of danger
  •  chopping block
  •  gathering clouds
  •  being jeopardised
  •  death threat
  •  dangerous nature
  •  eradication
  •  firetrap
  •  against the dangers
  •  distant-water
  •  face danger
  •  deep-sea
  •  been at risk
  •  from the risks
  •  impendence
  •  cardhouse
  •  chase
  •  hazardousness
  •  avoid the danger
  •  against risks
  •  danger of dying
  •  degree of risk
  •  against hazards
  •  chance taken
  •  could be in danger
  •  dangerous ground
  •  imperilling
  •  exposedness
  •  gaping chasm
  •  in danger here
  •  distant water
  •  cause for alarm
  •  high-seas
  •  extreme seriousness
  •  breakers ahead
  •  hazards
  •  dangerousness
  •  high-sea

What is the origin of the word haven?

According to Etymonline, the word haven has been used since the Middle English and Old English hæfen/Old English hæf. This word is from Proto-Germanic roots that also formed the German hafen, Dutch haven, Danish havn, Danish hav, Old Norse höfn, Old Irish cuan, Middle Dutch havene, Norwegian havn, and more. This word is of Proto-Indo-European roots.

How can the word haven be used in a sentence?

The word haven can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to incorporate them into your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or a quiz to test your knowledge of the definitions of different English language words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today to help incorporate it into your vocabulary. Below are several examples of haven. 

The beautiful park serves as a safe haven for visitors and the homeless amidst the economic chaos. 

The recent surge in tumultuous times in the stock market has led people to take their money and assets out in a familiar position in cash – the magnitude of which is plummeting stocks. This new haven of cash was terrible for financial institutions.

Lake Baringo Bay, an inlet of the sea, was protected and a freshwater haven for native plants and a mixed variety of birds. 

Overall, the word haven means a safe space or sanctuary. This word is a noun.


  1. Haven definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. haven: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. haven | Origin and meaning of haven | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Haven synonyms – 452 Words and Phrases for Haven | Power Thesaurus 
  5. Haven antonyms – 151 Opposites of Haven | Power Thesaurus