hud·​dle | \ ˈhə-dᵊl How to pronounce huddle (audio) \
huddled; huddling\ ˈhəd-​liŋ How to pronounce huddling (audio) , 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 How to pronounce huddler (audio) , 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

Haspel's appearance drew protests from a small group of students who chanted in the rain while huddled under umbrellas. Bruce Schreiner, Fox News, "CIA director: Agency keenly focused on nation state rivals," 24 Sep. 2018 USA TODAY Photos of those practices, particularly children huddled under Mylar blankets in detention centers, brought political pressure on the Obama administration. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Ducey takes credit for criticizing an Obama immigration policy that never existed," 22 June 2018 Reporters pointed cameras and microphones at LaVoy Finicum who was huddling under a blue tarp in the dark outside the refuge’s offices. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter Two: By a Thread," 16 May 2018 Gabriela Hernandez and her two children, Omar, 6, and Jonathan, 2, huddled under blankets near the turnstiles. Khushbu Shah, CNN, "Huddling on the concrete they wait. Through the turnstiles is America.," 30 Apr. 2018 Photos on social media showed students huddling under desks and using their cell phones. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Student killed, 2nd injured at high school shooting in Alabama," 7 Mar. 2018 Local politicians and other trucking executives huddled under white tents and ate sandwiches. Brett Murphy, Detroit Free Press, "Retail giants enable trucker exploitation," 29 June 2017 In the center of this Mediterranean tableau, at the end of a long quay in the port of Augusta, is a jarring anomaly: a gray Italian gunboat, on whose rear deck hundreds huddle under heavy brown blankets. Alex Perry, Newsweek, "Migrants and the New Mediterranean Mafia," 10 June 2015 Children huddled, damp and bewildered, until aid workers drove them away in the back of a pickup truck. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s not safe anywhere:’ Mozambique cyclone scattered lives," 30 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tom Brady broke the huddle in overtime of the AFC Championship last weekend with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Tony Romo Calls Plays Before They Happen. How Often Is He Actually Right?," 30 Jan. 2019 Enter: Frank Reich’s no-huddle, step-on-their-throats, anyone-can-line-up-anywhere offense. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts rookies Nyheim Hines, Deon Cain could be the real deal," 14 June 2018 Many of those plays had come out of a no-huddle formation, which means players must drag themselves to the line of scrimmage without the benefit of a rest break. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Sprinting worked for the Patriots. Why not for Matt Patricia's Lions?," 11 June 2018 In this age of the no-huddle offense fueled by the passing game, very great offense has to have a quality running back. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Running wild: Top 10 RBs for 2018 Arizona high school football season," 11 June 2018 The Irish were a high-scoring team that featured a no-huddle spread offense. Phil Anastasia,, "Fired Camden Catholic football coach Nick Strom says he was asked to put more white players on field," 30 Apr. 2018 Darnold also played in a spread offense with no-huddle, no snaps under center. Terry Pluto,, "Cleveland Browns and NFL Draft 2018: Why Sam Darnold worries me - Terry Pluto (video)," 13 Apr. 2018 There are huddles of the Spanish delicacy percebes (goose barnacles); clusters of indigo mussels clinging to black metamorphic nobs. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Seaweed the Perfect Food?," 15 Feb. 2019 And the Cavaliers were committing so many turnovers that coach Tony Bennett’s frustration bubbled over in the huddle. Aaron Beard, The Seattle Times, "Guy, No. 4 Virginia rally past No. 8 North Carolina 69-61," 12 Feb. 2019

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

Verb and Noun

probably from or akin to Middle English hoderen to huddle

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Statistics for huddle

Last Updated

2 May 2019

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 How to pronounce huddle (audio) \
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

Comments on huddle

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a strong desire or propensity

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