hitch·​hike | \ˈhich-ˌhīk \
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


hitch, thumb

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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

That philosophy and my consciousness of the world was instilled early on by my grandmother, who hitchhiked across the globe and met my grandfather in India in the late forties—a crazy thing for a young white woman to do at the time. Leila Janah, Glamour, "This Sustainable Moisturizer Laughs In the Face of 12-Hour Days," 17 Oct. 2018 The former Pro Bowl tight end is accused of kidnapping and raping a 54-year-old transient woman who was hitchhiking in March. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Could Kellen Winslow Jr.'s lawyers use CTE as a defense in sex-crimes case?," 15 June 2018 Then there was Hitchbot, a talking robot made by Canadian researchers for a project to hitchhike around two continents. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Afraid of robots? The feeling is mutual," 20 June 2018 And liquid water, with a good mix of minerals, is an ideal travelodge for hitchhiking bacteria. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "Wild new alien theory emerges," 28 June 2018 On North Pender Island, where our trip would start and end, hitchhiking is still a common and accepted way of getting around. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "An Unmissable Outdoor Adventure in Canada’s Gulf Islands," 21 June 2018 Ricky and Keith had been in Europe for a while hitchhiking and bumming around. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "The B-52s at 40: An Oral History of Their Awesomely Bizarre Beach Party Breakthrough 'Rock Lobster'," 29 May 2018 This year’s list includes a rare great ape, a hitchhiking beetle, an extinct omnivorous marsupial lion and many species that are critically endangered. Sean Greene, latimes.com, "A rare great ape, a 130-foot-tall tree and an extinct marsupial lion make the Top 10 New Species list for 2018," 23 May 2018 The 2011 east Japan tsunami swept huge amounts of wreckage out to sea—and Japanese species hitchhiked across the Pacific on the debris. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Tsunami Sent Species on a Transoceanic Trip," 28 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for hitchhike

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for hitchhike

The first known use of hitchhike was in 1923

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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 \
hitchhiked; hitchhiking

Kids Definition of hitchhike

: to travel by getting free rides in passing vehicles

Other Words from hitchhike

hitchhiker noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on hitchhike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hitchhike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hitchhike

Spanish Central: Translation of hitchhike

Nglish: Translation of hitchhike for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hitchhike

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


a nest or breeding place

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