hud·​dle | \ˈhə-dᵊl \
huddled; huddling\ˈhəd-​liŋ, ˈhə-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of huddle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 British : to arrange carelessly or hurriedly the solemnities had to be huddled through at express speedManchester Examiner

2a : to crowd together Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free …— Emma Lazarus

b : to draw (oneself) together : crouch People were huddled around their radios.

3 : to wrap oneself closely in huddled her coat around her

intransitive verb

1a : to gather in a close-packed group They huddled around the campfire.

b : to curl up : crouch Students huddled over their desks.

2a : to hold a consultation huddled to discuss the proposal

b football : to gather away from the line of scrimmage to receive instructions (as from the quarterback) for the next down (see down entry 5 sense 3b) : to gather in a huddle (see huddle entry 2 sense 2b)



Definition of huddle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a close-packed group : bunch huddles of children a huddle of cottages

2a : meeting, conference The boss is in a huddle with the marketing director.

b football : a brief gathering of players away from the line of scrimmage to receive instructions (as from the quarterback) for the next down (see down entry 5 sense 3b)

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Other Words from huddle


huddler \ˈhəd-​lər, ˈhə-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of huddle in a Sentence


We huddled around the campfire. The sheep huddled together for warmth. The students huddled over their desks. Union representatives are huddling to discuss the proposal.


sheep standing in a huddle The boss is in a huddle with the marketing director. The quarterback called the offense into a huddle.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Iranian authorities are looking for other ways to cushion the blow of U.S. sanctions, and have been huddling with European parties to the nuclear deal to keep the pact alive. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Iran Moves to Shelter Millions as U.S. Sanctions Bite," 25 Oct. 2018 Murkowksi was photographed huddling with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Gregg Re, Fox News, "After tumultuous Kavanaugh hearing, swing-vote senators weigh judge's fate: 'It's a tough one'," 1 Oct. 2018 The world has been collectively huddled around a TV for the last few weeks, beers in hand, as the World Cup wages on. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "You Can Hang With Former World Cup Players on Vacation," 11 July 2018 When the couple started building in the hills around Hanover and Norwich, most houses huddled together around their respective greens, on flat land above the Connecticut River. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Meet the Hunters, Vermont’s modernist-house pioneers," 9 Aug. 2018 The brain surgeon walked out of the operating room, made eye contact with me and motioned for our family to huddle in a more quiet hallway. Beth Kassab,, "Brain cancer: Words no one wants to hear," 23 May 2018 Later, we were married in a sheepfold overlooking the ribbon of river that winds through small agricultural plots and quiet towns huddled up against the road. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 The 2-minute, 27-second video ends with the men huddled against hotel room doors, holding their weapons and waiting. Fox News, "Video shows officers, security guards in hallway as Vegas gunman opens fire a floor above them," 2 Oct. 2018 Officials initially signaled incomplete before huddling and ruling it a completion. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "10 things we learned from Pete Carroll Tuesday: Chris Carson has taken the lead at tailback, Shaquem Griffin will have competition, and more," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Naturally quiet, Matthews began hollering during huddles in the game. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "How Charles Matthews became Michigan basketball's best player in March," 2 Apr. 2018 Taking place multiple times each week, the huddles are a chance for employees to talk about successes and challenges and their vision going forward. Jessica Levy,, "VEGA Americas promotes continuous improvement," 8 June 2018 While Charlotte sees unity in men flocking together, huddles are also very insular., "How Charlotte Jones Anderson Became The NFL's "Ivanka Trump"," 15 June 2018 The intimate huddle will precede a larger meeting and a working lunch attended by Trump’s chief of staff, national security adviser and secretary of state, the White House said, along with some of their North Korean counterparts. Josh Lederman And Matthew Lee,, "Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet one on one, raising concerns," 11 June 2018 Stephenson also tried sneaking into the Heat's huddle. Chris Chavez,, "Report: Lakers, Lance Stephenson Agree to Contract After LeBron Decision," 1 July 2018 Last season, Angerer would pump the team up before games by comparing them to a different animal each week during the pregame huddle. Jamie Goldberg,, "After storied career, Nadine Angerer guiding next generation as Portland Thorns goalkeeper coach," 7 Mar. 2018 That huddle became an online sensation after a photo emerged of an exasperated Merkel facing down a sitting Trump. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump reportedly tossed Starburst at Merkel during G-7 summit: 'Don't say I never give you anything'," 22 June 2018 House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) has been the point person in planning that possible huddle with the goal to present Trump with a less rigorous and more targeted package, the people said. Robert Costa, Washington Post, "Freedom Caucus pushes Trump on trade, following efforts by GOP leaders," 7 Mar. 2018

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


1579, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for huddle


probably from or akin to Middle English hoderen to huddle


see huddle entry 1

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Statistics for huddle

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for huddle

The first known use of huddle was in 1579

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More Definitions for huddle



English Language Learners Definition of huddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to come close together in a group

: to sit or lie in a curled or bent position

: to come together to talk about something privately



English Language Learners Definition of huddle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a group of people or things that are close to each other

: a private discussion or meeting

American football : a group of players who have gathered away from the line of scrimmage for a short time to hear instructions for the next play


hud·​dle | \ˈhə-dᵊl \
huddled; huddling

Kids Definition of huddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to crowd, push, or pile together People huddled in a doorway until the rain stopped.

2 : to get together to talk something over

3 : to sit or lie in a curled or bent position



Kids Definition of huddle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a closely packed group Sheep stood in a huddle.

2 : a private meeting or conference

3 : a brief gathering of football players to hear instructions for the next play

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More from Merriam-Webster on huddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with huddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for huddle

Spanish Central: Translation of huddle

Nglish: Translation of huddle for Spanish Speakers

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