\ 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

Several accusers have said Fischer groped, hugged or tried to kiss them. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ex-deputy accused of misconduct with 16 women pleads guilty," 9 Sep. 2019 Videos from the scene, which were widely distributed online, appeared to show protesters crying and hugging each other while police officers chased them and threatened them with batons. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Hong Kong protesters threaten new airport disruptions after street clashes with police," 7 Sep. 2019 Videos shared on social media and messaging apps showed commuters crying and hugging each other, as pools of blood and debris littered the ground after an operation by riot police. Washington Post, "Hong Kong protesters defy ban as clashes escalate on key pro-democracy anniversary," 31 Aug. 2019 Between the runway and the sea, the location of the eight-room Tides Inn — a three-story cross between a motel and a McMansion that is perched above a cove and hugged by rocky arms — exceeded our expectations. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "On California’s Lost Coast: Sea Lions, Surf and Squiggly Roads," 31 Aug. 2019 Wellington, New Zealand Why go now: World of WearableArt festival runs from September 26 to October 13 The world’s southernmost capital, Wellington is a quirky, creative city hugged by breathtaking nature. National Geographic, "5 can’t-miss experiences in September," 30 Aug. 2019 After the hearing, a woman began to cry and hugged another one of his supporters. Elyssa Cherney,, "Man ordered held without bond for alleged online threats to attack Chicago abortion clinic," 20 Aug. 2019 At the start of his campaign, Biden addressed accusations from women that Biden violated their personal space or kissed, hugged or touched them without consent. Kirk Brown, USA TODAY, "Biden's comments on segregationist Senators loom over big weekend for South Carolina Dems," 21 June 2019 When the frats disbanded, everyone was cheering and crying and hugging each other. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Swarthmore College Fraternities Disbanded After Student Organizers Held a Multi-Day Frat House Sit-In Protest," 2 May 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

13 Oct 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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to be made up of

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