\ ˈhəg How to pronounce hug (audio) \
hugged; hugging

Definition of hug

transitive verb

1 : to press tightly especially in the arms
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 How to pronounce huggable (audio) \ 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

Even little things like hugging a dog or hearing a cat purr can make a big difference for someone who needs to experience the unconditional love of pets. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "PET TALK: Enjoying the magic of pet therapy," 1 Aug. 2019 In Tuesday’s heat, Igarashi separated himself from the others, hugging the pier while the other surfers sat farther south. Joe Haakenson, Daily Pilot, "Kanoa Igarashi, Courtney Conlogue advance at U.S. Open of Surfing," 30 July 2019 The world watched as the two women immediately hugged and shared a few intimate words in what appears to be their first meeting ever. Paula Rogo, Essence, "A Royal Reunion: Beyoncé And Meghan Markle Finally Meet!," 15 July 2019 Munch left Duluth on June 17 and hopes to finish his journey in 40 days, hugging Lake Superior's northern coastline to the Michipicoten River in Ontario. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This Wisconsin man is traveling 870 miles from Duluth to the Arctic Ocean all in a stand-up paddleboard," 26 June 2019 The staff gave her books and toys — but they weren’t allowed to pick her up, to hold her or hug her to try to calm her. Nomaan Merchant,, "Reporters were let inside a detention facility for migrant kids. Here’s what it was like," 18 June 2018 Trump recently mocked Manchin, saying the senator is always trying to hug him. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems doing what it takes to win," 7 June 2018 Henry Winkler wants to hug Timmy, can't pronounce his name! Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, February 22 Edition," 22 Feb. 2019 Chavez hugs his daughters after spending three weeks in Cuba for treatment. Peter Millard,, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019

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








Statistics for hug

Last Updated

4 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce hug (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on hug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hug

Spanish Central: Translation of hug

Nglish: Translation of hug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hug for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hug

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