hitch·​hike | \ ˈhich-ˌhīk How to pronounce hitchhike (audio) \
hitchhiked; hitchhiking; hitchhikes

Definition of hitchhike

intransitive verb

1 : to travel by securing free rides from passing vehicles
2 : to be carried or transported by chance or unintentionally destructive insects hitchhiking on ships

transitive verb

: to solicit and obtain (a free ride) especially in a passing vehicle

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Other Words from hitchhike

hitchhiker noun

Synonyms for hitchhike


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Examples of hitchhike in a Sentence

Her car broke down, so she had to hitchhike back home. He hitchhiked his way across the country last summer.
Recent Examples on the Web Did the 40-year-old cardiovascular technician hitchhike out? Anne Ryman, AZCentral.com, "Still missing: Inside the Robert Fisher fugitive case 20 years later," 8 Apr. 2021 Over the summer, bureaucratic conflicts scuttled an effort to set up a testing site on the southern end of the reservation, forcing people without cars to hitchhike or walk for miles to get swabbed. New York Times, "Tribal Elders Are Dying From the Pandemic, Causing a Cultural Crisis for American Indians," 12 Jan. 2021 Initially, Hudson was filled with rage at his lack of choice, and his only thoughts were of escape — managing to leave the facility and hitchhike the 483 kilometers to Missouri. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "The Rehab of Big Sky Country," 31 Dec. 2020 The Pacific was just another adventure for Dunn, who had picked cotton and thrown newspapers as a kid and would hitchhike or hop freight trains to Houston or San Antonio. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio area’s shrinking band of Pearl Harbor veterans will never forget," 7 Dec. 2020 But many students go to school elsewhere, and the virus has proved its ability to hitchhike with travelers. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Don't let COVID-19 hitchhike home from campus," 31 Oct. 2020 Mitchell was preparing for an armed robbery, and the two decided to hitchhike back to the Navajo reservation, according to court documents. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "'I have waited 19 years to get justice': Lezmond Mitchell executed inside federal prison in Terre Haute," 26 Aug. 2020 Mitchell was preparing for an armed robbery, and the two decided to hitchhike back to the Navajo reservation, according to court documents. Justin L. Mack, USA TODAY, "Navajo man executed inside federal prison over tribal leaders’ objections," 26 Aug. 2020 Their politics are just one expression of that basic temperament—a temperament that might push them to live in polyglot cities, to hitchhike across Europe, to watch foreign-language films. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "We’re Not Polarized Enough," 19 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hitchhike.' 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 hitchhike

1923, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for hitchhike

Time Traveler

The first known use of hitchhike was in 1923

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Statistics for hitchhike

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hitchhike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hitchhike. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of hitchhike

: to get a ride in a passing vehicle by holding out your arm with your thumb up as you stand on the side of the road


hitch·​hike | \ ˈhich-ˌhīk How to pronounce hitchhike (audio) \
hitchhiked; hitchhiking

Kids Definition of hitchhike

: to travel by getting free rides in passing vehicles

Other Words from hitchhike

hitchhiker noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hitchhike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hitchhike

Nglish: Translation of hitchhike for Spanish Speakers

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