bear-hug

verb
\ˈber-ˌhəg \
bear-hugged; bear-hugging; bear-hugs

Definition of bear-hug 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to embrace in a bear hug

bear hug

noun

Definition of bear hug (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rough tight embrace

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bear-hug

Synonyms: Verb

clasp, crush, embrace, enclasp, enfold, grasp, hug, strain

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bear-hug in a Sentence

Noun

He gave his brother a bear hug.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then a couple dozen children ran to her and into a class bear hug. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County teacher calls it a career after 41 years in the same first-grade classroom," 15 June 2018 Frances McDormand grabs her Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri co-star Sam Rockwell in a bear hug, before fixing his bow tie. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Oscars 2018: Everything crazy thing we saw backstage at the Academy Awards," 5 Mar. 2018 Sonics legend Gary Payton gave out bear hugs on stage. Evan Webeck, The Seattle Times, "A little rain gives Special Olympics USA Games’ opening ceremony a Pacific Northwest feel," 1 July 2018 Daniel Strada was an inspirational fitness buff who made goofy YouTube videos and wrapped his mother in giant bear hugs. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake Mary man was killed by a stray bullet — all because of a fight he had no part in," 12 July 2018 When Yelich emerged from the dugout before batting practice, Justin Bour greeted him with a bear hug. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Christian Yelich returns to Marlins Park as an All-Star, in first place: 'I really did enjoy my five years here'," 9 July 2018 The men fought — Knight got one punch in and tried to hold Baptista in a type of bear hug, said Gembolis. Rafael Olmeda, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Suspect in Miramar manslaughter argues self defense," 22 June 2018 The Korean leaders' second summit in a month saw bear hugs and broad smiles. chicagotribune.com, "U.S. delegation holds talks with North Korean officials in Demilitarized Zone," 27 May 2018 Casey swallowed him up in a gigantic bear hug and held on tight. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Inside Luke Heimlich's senior season with the Oregon State baseball team," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bear-hug.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bear-hug

Verb

1887, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1846, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bear-hug

Statistics for bear-hug

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bear-hug

The first known use of bear-hug was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bear-hug

bear hug

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bear hug

: a strong and rough hug : an act of showing affection by putting your arms around someone and squeezing very tightly

More from Merriam-Webster on bear-hug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bear-hug

Comments on bear-hug

What made you want to look up bear-hug? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!