\ˈhəg \
hugged; hugging

Definition of hug 

transitive verb

1 : to press tightly especially in the arms

2a : congratulate

b : to hold fast : cherish hugged his miseries like a sulky child— John Buchan

3 : to stay close to the road hugs the river

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Other Words from hug

hug noun
huggable \ˈhə-gə-bəl \ adjective
hugger noun

Examples of hug in a Sentence

We hugged briefly, and then it was time to say goodbye. I hugged my knees to my chest. The road hugs the river. The boat hugged the shore.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There are very few feelings in the world that beat putting on a comfy pair that hug your toesies just right. Sara Elise, Bon Appetit, "A Neurotic Person's Guide to Beating Travel Anxiety," 31 May 2018 Additional communities that lost population tend to be located on the east side of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula — particularly in counties that hug the Lake Huron coastline. Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit still losing people but — oh, man — not like Fife Lake Twp.," 24 May 2018 This style is especially perfect for people with small faces because of the extra grippy plastic used on the arms and frames, and the temple ends that hug your head behind your ears. The Editors, Outside Online, "Our Favorite Women's Sunglasses," 9 May 2018 A half dozen people, including the priest, crowded into a backroom and hugged the ground. Joshua Partlow,, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Another shows Hailey hugging Justin, looking wistfully over his shoulder. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Posted and Deleted Instagrams of Hailey Baldwin in a Hot Tub," 14 July 2018 From there, the trail angles towards Wasson, hugging first one side of the high shoulder and then the other. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 In another case, Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, was told to stop hugging other lawmakers and staffers after an investigation found multiple instances of unwanted touching. Melody Gutierrez,, "California lawmaker reprimanded for ‘locker-room talk’," 12 July 2018 Alex Bregman hit a tapper in front of the plate that hugged the foul line before trickling fair. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy fumbles ball in bizarre walk-off loss to Houston," 11 July 2018

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

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hug

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hugga to soothe

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Dictionary Entries near hug








Phrases Related to hug

hug the shore

Statistics for hug

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hug

The first known use of hug was in 1567

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More Definitions for hug



English Language Learners Definition of hug

: to put your arms around someone especially as a way of showing love or friendship

: to hold (something) tightly with your arms

: to stay close to (something)


\ˈhəg \
hugged; hugging

Kids Definition of hug

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to clasp in the arms : embrace

2 : to keep close to The ship hugged the coast.



Kids Definition of hug (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on hug

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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