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

intransitive verb

: to travel by securing free rides from passing vehicles
: 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
hitchhiker noun

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 By the way, the Dublin shout-out in that 1959 collage is to a town in Georgia that Ruscha passed through as a teenager hitchhiking from Oklahoma to Miami—a fact that resolves nothing. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 2 Nov. 2023 Running out of options, Abril Felipe Morales hitchhiked here, to the yacht harbor where her father often anchored, and asked his fellow sailors for help. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 According to an Arkansas Democrat story from the time, Sabrina planned to hitchhike roughly 70 miles east to Izard County, where her boyfriend was incarcerated at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock. Daniel McFadin, Arkansas Online, 21 Oct. 2023 After completing a stretch, Andrus would hitchhike back to his RV. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Aug. 2023 Native to Europe, the snails were likely first released into the Great Lakes through boats' ballast water and spread through hitchhiking on people's clothing and equipment, Kretlow said. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2023 The episode starts with Carrie talking to Aidan about his son Wyatt, who got into a car accident in Norfolk, Virginia, after hitchhiking to his dad’s place while high. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 24 Aug. 2023 Turnover means opportunities for new arrivals to bring bugs with them, though programs like Ruth House do intake interviews and have cleaning regimens to prevent pests from hitchhiking in. Jason Laughlin, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2023 According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), the spotted lanternfly hitchhiked from Asia to eastern Pennsylvania around 2014 and has been making its way to the Midwest ever since. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hitchhike.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hitchhike was in 1923

Dictionary Entries Near hitchhike

Cite this Entry

“Hitchhike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hitchhike. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hitch·​hike ˈhich-ˌhīk How to pronounce hitchhike (audio)
: to travel by securing free rides from passing vehicles
hitchhiker noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hitchhike

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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