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

Stacked in an actual shiny can, a gloriously sloppy pile of housemade tortilla chips, taco meat, beans, jalapeños and queso huddled for warmth until the waiter whipped off the can with a pair of pliers. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Lucy Cooper’s Ice House at the top of San Antonio’s bar food scene," 12 Sep. 2019 Hundreds of huddled migrants left on street corners; missing paperwork; a daily scramble for available beds—all the tumultuous result of the Trump administration’s refusal to deal with the fallout from its own immigration policies. Aaron Cantú, The New Republic, "Inside Trump’s Border Chaos," 12 Sep. 2019 As people gathered at the scene in the rain, family members huddled and cried, and the crowd criticized police for firing their weapons, according to the newspaper. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "A man live-streamed his traffic stop. He recorded police fatally shooting him.," 9 Sep. 2019 Middle and high school students often huddle in circles at lunch to pass around a Juul or take multiple bathroom breaks to vape during class. Jill Tucker,, "Bay Area parents, teachers mobilize against teen vaping: ‘We have quite a fight ahead of us’," 7 Sep. 2019 Making the loss all the more frustrating, the officials huddled for at least a minute before making the call. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fumble out of end zone costs USD shot at big upset of UC Davis," 7 Sep. 2019 With Hurricane Dorian quickly approaching, the colonial Spanish mustangs will huddle together and ride out the storm using a trick horses have used for centuries. Faith Karimi, CNN, "The wild horses of the Outer Banks won't evacuate. They have a special trick to survive hurricanes," 5 Sep. 2019 Ohio State would huddle on the sideline at the start of drives, but after that, Haskins barely ever had to spit out a playcall. Albert Breer,, "In Washington and Miami, Who Will Be the Starting Quarterbacks?," 15 Aug. 2019 On a cold winter day in 1989, Julius Eastman huddled in a group of homeless men outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, warming his hands by an oil-drum fire, when a reporter from Newsday approached him. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, "Adam Shatz," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Auburn uses a lot of different variations of its formations, unbalanced offensive lines, sugar huddles, pre-snap motions and other means of deception and distraction to try and impact opposing defense. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Isaac Slade-Matautia earns praise in debut as Oregon Ducks’ starting middle linebacker," 6 Sep. 2019 Offensive coordinator Brad Salem sent in a play quickly, and Lewerke and Co. turned and went back to form a huddle. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Explaining how Michigan State, Mark Dantonio cracked in loss to Arizona State," 15 Sep. 2019 The cramped editing suite opens directly onto a dark corridor, typically clogged with a huddle of timid teenagers lining up for an audition and a shot at stardom. New York Times, "A Music Genre Grows in Zimbabwe, Fueled by Rage Against Authority," 7 Sep. 2019 As the rain pelted the historic neighborhood of East Charleston on Wednesday afternoon, a woman carrying groceries trudged past a huddle of men slouching in metal chairs under an awning of a brick apartment complex. Los Angeles Times, "Death toll rises to 20 in the Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian regains strength and threatens the Carolinas," 4 Sep. 2019 After that died down, coach Vic Fangio gathered the entire team at midfield for a huddle. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Tensions boil over at Broncos camp as Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders scuffle," 5 Aug. 2019 There was a pre-taping huddle to discuss the finalists. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump racial-slur allegations resurface in new book 'The Method to the Madness'," 8 July 2019 The Sweden team got in a huddle after the game and Andersson spoke to the players. Steve Douglas,, "England beat Sweden to reach World Cup semifinals," 7 July 2018 Up-tempo offense early Both teams mixed in the no-huddle (which was also a semi hurry-up) in the first half. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Talking Points: Crazy finish allows Chicago to win," 15 Sep. 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

17 Oct 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

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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