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noun hun·ger \ˈhəŋ-gər\

Simple Definition of hunger

  • : a very great need for food : a severe lack of food

  • : an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach that is caused by the need for food

  • : a strong desire : a strong desire for something or to do something

Full Definition of hunger

  1. 1 a :  a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient b :  an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food c :  a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food

  2. 2 :  a strong desire :  craving <a hunger for success>

from hunger
  1. :  very bad or inept <the jokes were from hunger — Mordecai Richler>

Examples of hunger

  1. She has been a leader in the fight against world hunger.

  2. One sandwich wasn't enough to satisfy his hunger.

  3. Her students have a genuine hunger for knowledge.

Origin of hunger

Middle English, from Old English hungor; akin to Old High German hungar hunger, Lithuanian kanka torture

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with hunger



verb hun·ger

Simple Definition of hunger

  • : to have or feel a strong desire

Full Definition of hunger

hun·geredhun·ger·ing play \-g(ə-)riŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to feel or suffer hunger

  3. 2 :  to have an eager desire

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to make hungry

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of hunger

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of hunger

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain <longed for some rest>. yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing <yearned for a stage career>. hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire <always hankering for money>. pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible <pined for a lost love>. hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need <hungered for a business of his own> <thirsted for power>.

Medical Dictionary


noun hun·ger \ˈhəŋ-gər\

Medical Definition of hunger

  1. 1:  a craving, desire, or urgent need for food

  2. 2:  an uneasy sensation occasioned normally by the lack of food and resulting directly from stimulation of the sensory nerves of the stomach by the contraction and churning movement of the empty stomach

  3. 3:  a weakened disordered condition brought about by prolonged lack of food <die of hunger>

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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