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

Last year, Trump huddled with advisers at Mar-a-Lago after North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Has Trump turned Air Force One into a perk for Mar-a-Lago members?," 9 July 2018 Bars and squares steadily filled up and people from airports to offices looked for the nearest TV to huddle around. Beatrice Christofaro And Marcelo Silva De Souza,, "Brazil fans lament World Cup elimination against Belgium," 7 July 2018 The annual count is taken in pre-dawn hours, with volunteers walking sidewalks or driving on dark streets with clipboards to look for homeless people huddled in doorways, sleeping in cars or tucked inside tents. Gary Warth,, "Data shows homeless on the move in San Diego," 25 June 2018 As soon as someone noticed the package, the fire alarm was pulled and the employees went outside to huddle under the nearby Jones Falls Expressway, the standard procedure for such an incident, Schofield said. Colin Campbell,, "State Highway Administration headquarters evacuated for report of suspicious package," 18 Apr. 2018 Choe Son Hui, North Korea's vice foreign minister, and Sung Kim, a U.S. envoy to the Philippines who led previous talks with Pyongyang, huddled for more than two hours at the Ritz-Carlton hotel here. Matt Stiles,, "Top U.S. and North Korean envoys hold last-minute talks in hopes of Singapore summit breakthrough," 11 June 2018 Republicans huddled privately for two hours without a clear resolution on a seemingly intractable issue that pits conservative hard-liners aligned with President Trump against moderates frustrated with inaction. Mike Debonis,, "Ryan promises compromise ‘dreamers’ immigration bill despite GOP’s split," 8 June 2018 The men huddle for a moment before Cantor breaks free. Steven Goff,, "'Goooooool!' Andres Cantor is the Spanish-speaking American voice of the World Cup," 7 June 2018 The two arrived separately at the Magnum x Alexander Wang party but quickly huddled together for the rest of the night in the VIP area, according to the Los Angeles Times. Maria Pasquini,, "Bella Hadid and The Weeknd Let Loose at Cannes Film Festival 1 Day After Kissing," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Madeira shot out of its pre-game huddle like a cannon. Adam Baum,, "Healthy Hoeffel powers balanced Madeira by Mariemont," 26 Jan. 2018 In front of a store in the strip mall, a small group of people gathered, staring toward the scene as an investigator approached their huddle. Laura Mcknight,, "Man killed in New Orleans East shooting: NOPD," 23 Jan. 2018 The coach then returned to the huddle, and the player, pulled from the game, took a seat on the bench. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Coach in LaVar Ball's Junior Basketball Association roughs up, curses at player," 13 July 2018 Off to one side, dancers pose in a linear huddle, recalling a sculpted frieze. Karen Campbell,, "A moving ‘Vessel,’ in more ways than one," 29 June 2018 The sight of Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo struggling to his feet and standing motionless near the Alabama huddle, apparently unaware of his location on the field, was frightening. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "University of Wisconsin part of major study on concussions in sports," 30 May 2018 The 18-day ordeal riveted much of the world — from the awful news that the 13 were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found by a pair of British divers nearly 10 days later. Stephen Wright, Fox News, "AP Interview: US rescuer details high-risk Thai cave mission," 11 July 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

19 Sep 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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