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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from huddle


huddler \ ˈhəd-​lər How to pronounce huddler (audio) , ˈhə-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of huddle in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun sheep standing in a huddle The boss is in a huddle with the marketing director. The quarterback called the offense into a huddle.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For two days, my friends took every free moment to huddle together and gossip about their virtual friends in the 3DS life-simulation game Tomodachi Life. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "The Surprisingly Social Legacy of the Nintendo 3DS," 17 Sep. 2020 Delegates can’t huddle in the back of the room to cut deals, but observers can see them in private settings. Washington Post, "Live from someone’s kitchen: Virginia’s virtual House of Delegates," 30 Aug. 2020 The dude and his friends huddle under a shop awning, laughing. Elisa Albert, Longreads, "O! Small-Bany! Part 4: Fall," 28 Apr. 2020 Many have learned from Joey Weisenberg, the founder of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute who has spent the last two decades exhorting Jews to let their emotions drive their voices, and to huddle up and sing together. Philissa Cramer,, "How Jews adapt to the sudden disappearance of communal singing," 16 Sep. 2020 Desperate to get online to find work, educate their children and receive health care, many Americans have been forced to huddle in school parking lots or near fast food restaurants just to access essential services. Gigi Sohn For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "How to make broadband affordable and accessible for everyone," 9 Sep. 2020 But the players continued to huddle and instead chose to lock arms, kneel and raise a fist with their coaches and support staffs on the court. Star Tribune, "The week in review: U.S. sports teams take a collective stand," 29 Aug. 2020 And emperor penguins, facing Antarctica’s subzero temperatures and gale-force winds, huddle. Quanta Magazine, "Math of the Penguins," 17 Aug. 2020 But what prompts penguins to huddle in the first place? Quanta Magazine, "Math of the Penguins," 17 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joe Flacco went through most of training camp unable to run a huddle or throw passes during practice. Dennis Waszak Jr.,, "New Jets starting QB Joe Flacco ready to show he can still play: ‘I think I have a lot left’," 8 Oct. 2020 Before the pandemic, jurors would be called up for a huddle in front of the judge’s bench, where by design everyone would try to lean their heads close together and speak quietly. Washington Post, "Jurors in a fire station, high school gym and the ‘Cow Palace.’ How Maryland is restarting jury trials in the pandemic.," 6 Oct. 2020 Now the coffee area has been stripped of its shareable glass mugs, and the cozy chairs and informal huddle areas sit vacant. Star Tribune, "Two downtowns on hold as big employers monitor the march of the virus," 3 Oct. 2020 There were roughly 1,000 people at Mr. Trump's rally, and photos of the event show that many of the attendees were huddle close together with no face masks. Li Cohen, CBS News, "A timeline of Trump's travels prior to his hospitalization for COVID-19," 3 Oct. 2020 On offense, Josh Heupel’s no-huddle UC-Fast attack tries to run as many plays as possible, score as many points as possible and snap the ball as quickly as possible before the defense gets set. Mike Bianchi,, "UCF penalty issues are OVERRATED! | Commentary," 1 Oct. 2020 At one point during the Celtics' Game 5 surge, veteran forward Udonis Haslem took over the Heat huddle during a timeout, which Spoelstra embraced. Ira Winderman,, "Heat have become raisers of the lost arc against Celtics in NBA East finals," 26 Sep. 2020 Working out of the no-huddle offense, Young was given time to throw on his first two third downs and connected with DeVonta Smith each time for 23 and 14 yards. Mike Rodak |, al, "Bryce Young makes plays, loses ball in Alabama debut," 27 Sep. 2020 In the huddle, star linebacker Bobby Wagner told teammates to expect a power run to the right side of the defense. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Seahawks' overconfidence nearly cost them big win vs. Patriots," 21 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about huddle

Time Traveler for huddle

Time Traveler

The first known use of huddle was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Statistics for huddle

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Huddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for huddle


How to pronounce huddle (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on huddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for huddle

Nglish: Translation of huddle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on huddle

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!