\ ˈber-ˌhəg How to pronounce bear-hug (audio) \
bear-hugged; bear-hugging; bear-hugs

Definition of bear-hug

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to embrace in a bear hug

bear hug


Definition of bear hug (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rough tight embrace

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Synonyms for bear-hug

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of bear-hug in a Sentence

Noun He gave his brother a bear hug.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rodriguez-Rodriguez put an officer into a bear hug as the officer was trying to arrest another protester, according to an arrest report. Bobby Caina Calvan And Freida Frisaro, Star Tribune, 15 July 2021 Tedy Bruschi was back at practice and the former standout linebacker had a big bear hug for coach Jerod Mayo, himself a former standout linebacker., 9 Aug. 2021 If distance makes the heart grow fonder, Canadians are about to get a big bear hug from their southern neighbors. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 9 Aug. 2021 Except, that is, the bear hug that is a new staple of the Dodgers clubhouse. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 The defending gold medalist ducked under the lane lines and corralled Jacoby in a bear hug while slapping the water in celebration. Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2021 Alba remained stony-faced, even as a beaming Chiellini picked him up in a bear hug. Matias Grez, CNN, 6 July 2021 Let’s just say Michelle Obama would have been proud of our bear hug. Washington Post, 9 June 2021 But some Democrats seized on the former President's reemergence, suggesting that Republicans will suffer electorally for continuing to bear hug Trump. Gabby Orr And Michael Warren, CNN, 5 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of bear-hug


1907, in the meaning defined above


1837, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bear-hug

Time Traveler

The first known use of bear-hug was in 1837

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Dictionary Entries Near bear-hug

bear huckleberry


bear hug

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Statistics for bear-hug

Cite this Entry

“Bear-hug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for bear-hug

bear hug


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


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