\ ˈhəl How to pronounce hull (audio) \

Definition of hull

 (Entry 1 of 7)

1a : the outer covering of a fruit or seed
b : the persistent calyx or involucre that subtends some fruits (such as a strawberry)
2a : the frame or body of a ship or boat exclusive of masts, yards, sails, and rigging
b : the main body of a usually large or heavy craft or vehicle (such as an airship or tank)


hulled; hulling; hulls

Definition of hull (Entry 2 of 7)

transitive verb

: to remove the hulls of : shuck


biographical name (1)
\ ˈhəl How to pronounce Hull (audio) \

Definition of Hull (Entry 3 of 7)

Cordell 1871–1955 American statesman; U.S. Secretary of State (1933–44)


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hull (Entry 4 of 7)

Isaac 1773–1843 American naval officer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Hull (Entry 5 of 7)

Bobby 1939–     Robert Marvin Hull Canadian ice hockey player


biographical name (4)

Definition of Hull (Entry 6 of 7)

William 1753–1825 American general


geographical name
\ ˈhəl How to pronounce Hull (audio) \

Definition of Hull (Entry 7 of 7)

1 or in full Kingston upon Hull \ ˈkiŋ-​stən How to pronounce Kingston upon Hull (audio) \ city and port on the Humber River in eastern England population 242,200
2 former town in southwestern Quebec, Canada, on the Ottawa River

Note: Hull is now part of the town of Gatineau.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hull


hull-less \ ˈhəl-​ləs How to pronounce hull-less (audio) \ adjective


huller noun

Examples of hull in a Sentence

Noun the coffin was placed in a cement hull Verb hull the pinto beans before adding them
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pressure hull would weigh nearly eight thousand pounds. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 Eastman cutting tools are used to trim everything from SpaceX rocket parts to hulls on boats and the surfaces of skis. Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, "A Family Business Survived One Pandemic. It’s Determined to Do It Again.," 4 May 2020 Its hull fragment measures roughly 32 feet long and 8 feet wide, according to local broadcast station WWMT3. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "High Waters in the Great Lakes Reveal Two Centuries-Old Shipwrecks," 30 Apr. 2020 The remains, which are around 32 feet long and 8 feet wide, is a hull fragment from a wooden vessel. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Shipwreck remains wash ashore in West Michigan, possibly dating back to 1850s," 30 Apr. 2020 The single transducer can be set up on the transom, thru-hull, or on a trolling motor. Outdoor Life, "Sonar fishing units to find fish fast," 24 Apr. 2020 Someone had in fact noticed, and eventually the clanking of chains and anchors on the hull indicated that boats and divers were poking around the wreck site. Rachel Lance, Wired, "How to Escape From a Sunken Submarine," 7 Apr. 2020 The waves were slamming into us, and the hull started to crack. Eric Barton, Outside Online, "How a Shipwrecked Crew Survived 10 Days Lost at Sea," 22 Feb. 2020 His design includes an underbelly reminiscent of the curved hull of a ship. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, "Genoa’s New Bridge Nears Completion, Turning Tragedy Into Hope," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Captain Carlson attributed the Zumwalt’s stability to hull form, relative location of the rudder stops, and the size of the propellers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How the Zumwalt’s Strange Design Actually Helps It Handle Rough Waters," 25 Jan. 2020 La Lupita uses Mazahua corn, grown more than 8,200 feet above sea level, and nixtamalizes (a process where the corn is soaked, cooked, washed, and hulled) and grinds it in-house, then slaps it into sizzling warm tortillas. Jen Murphy, Condé Nast Traveler, "Downtown San José del Cabo Is Luring Visitors Out of the Resorts," 27 Feb. 2020 On June 28, 1919, the first concrete-hulled ship built in Mobile, the USS Selma, was launched and prepared to aid Allied forces. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Here’s where to see a concrete WWI ship built in Alabama," 20 Feb. 2020 Not all mixes are equal; striped sunflower, for example, is not favored by as many bird species as black-oil sunflower or hulled or chipped sunflowers, according to a three-year study, Project Wildbird. Washington Post, "Bird populations have crashed. Here’s what you can do to help.," 16 Oct. 2019 Sarter was the operator of a 21-foot Monark aluminum-hulled boat that capsized about 11 a.m. after the engine became waterlogged, according to the sheriff’s office report. Jimmy Lovrien, Twin Cities, "1 man dead after boat capsizes on Lake Superior near Duluth," 30 Sep. 2019 In the United States, many seeds that don’t need hulling are harvested from two pumpkin varieties: oilseed and snow whites. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Pumpkin Seeds, Made in America," 14 Oct. 2019 This makes minesweepers, wooden or fiberglass-hulled ships specifically designed to hunt down and dispose of minesweepers, vital in a conflict. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy’s Minesweeper Fleet Is in Bad Shape," 6 Aug. 2019 Though the state agricultural department says farmers can still sell hemp seed, hulled hemp, and a variety of other hemp products, cultivators say those sales likely wouldn’t be profitable enough to keep them in business. Felicia Gans,, "Massachusetts says hemp-derived CBD is illegal — but CBD stores are still everywhere," 1 July 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hull


Middle English holle, hulle, going back to Old English hulu, apparently going back to a by-form (without umlaut) of Germanic *huljō (whence Old High German hulla "outer garment," Middle High German hülle), nominal derivative from *hulj-a- "to cover" (whence Old Saxon bihullean "to veil, conceal," Old High German hullan "to cover," Old Norse hylja "to hide, cover," Gothic huljan "to cover, veil"), going back to Indo-European *ḱl̥-i̯e-, present stem formed from the verbal base *ḱel- "cover, conceal" — more at conceal

Note: The sense "frame or body of a ship," first attested with certainty ca. 1424-25 in a Latin document, is apparently a figurative use of the sense "husk, pod"; cf. Bertil Sandahl, Middle English Sea Terms I. The Ship's Hull (Uppsala, 1951), pp. 194-95.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hull

Time Traveler for hull

Time Traveler

The first known use of hull was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hull

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hull.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hull


How to pronounce Hull (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the main part of a ship or boat : the deck, sides, and bottom of a ship or boat
: the outer covering of a fruit, grain, or seed



English Language Learners Definition of hull (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the outer covering of (a fruit or seed)


\ ˈhəl How to pronounce hull (audio) \

Kids Definition of hull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the outside covering of a fruit or seed
2 : the frame or body of a ship or boat


hulled; hulling

Kids Definition of hull (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the outer covering of (a fruit or seed) hull peas

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hull

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hull

Spanish Central: Translation of hull

Nglish: Translation of hull for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about hull

Comments on hull

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!