1 of 2


hunched; hunching; hunches

transitive verb

: to push or put (someone or something) in a rough, careless, or hasty manner : thrust, shove
I would hunch my chair … closer to my dear and only croniesMary Nash
: to thrust or bend (someone or something) over into a humped or crooked position
hunched his shoulders as he headed out into the storm
sat hunched over the table reading a map
kept his … body hunched slightly forwardTennessee Williams

intransitive verb

: to thrust oneself forward
hunched along for a short spell of safe stepsT. B. Costain
: to assume a bent or crooked posture
folded his hands on the table and hunched forwardHugh MacLennan
: to draw oneself into a ball : curl up
hunch beneath the coversRandall Jarrell
: huddle, squat
we hunched close to the damp earthH. D. Skidmore
the mountains hunched around the valleyHelen Rich


2 of 2


: an act or instance of pushing someone or something in a rough or careless manner : an act or instance of hunching (see hunch entry 1 sense transitive)
give him a good hunch with your footAbraham Tucker
: a thick piece : lump
barter it for a hunch of cakeFlora Thompson
: a rounded mass : hump
his back carried a huge hunchWilliam Scoresby
: a strong intuitive feeling concerning especially a future event or result
had a hunch I would find you here

Examples of hunch in a Sentence

Verb He hunched his shoulders as he headed out into the storm. he hunched next to a bush to avoid being seen Noun My hunch is that the stock is going to go up in value. “How did you know I'd be here?” “It was just a hunch.”
Recent Examples on the Web
For another, hunched over a round table was James Brolin. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 His father slumped in his seat, hunched over as each guilty verdict came in. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 3 Nov. 2023 Two teachers managed to escape through the smashed windows and brought several of the children out with them. Salem, hunched in the bus, had managed to open some of the side windows. Nathan Thrall, Curbed, 25 Oct. 2023 Kate and Paul had both hunched down out of the woman’s sight line. Emma Cline, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Spending long periods of time working at a desk or hunched over a smartphone can cause your deltoids (also known as delts or shoulders) and lower back to round forward. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 23 Oct. 2023 With each security breach, falsehood and bigoted assumption, the contestants hunched over their laptops exulted. Will Oremus, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Aug. 2023 The device has adjustable backpack-style straps to pull your shoulders back and prevent hunching. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 6 Oct. 2023 No more hunching or struggling to reach those tricky corners. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 3 Oct. 2023
As astronomers lift the veil of the early universe, academic hunches outnumber concrete answers. WIRED, 5 Nov. 2023 Tom operates in his own leisurely zone of deduction and holds his hunches close to the vest, something that del Toro is an ace at. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 26 Sep. 2023 So, if her hunches are more eerie than endearing, here's how to switch them off: Launch the Alexa app, find More at the screen's base, and tap it. Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 30 Sep. 2023 Just a hunch, but the new manager probably doesn’t work for the Guardians at this time. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023 Our hunch is Kelly will opt for the safe pick and give himself the option to elevate Moore at the first sign of trouble. Jon Wilner | , oregonlive, 25 Aug. 2023 The hunch here is that ownership was fine with quasi-contention. Globe Staff,, 15 Sep. 2023 Chasing Tim Tebow, idolizing Tom Brady, fighting fires: Making of Colts QB Anthony Richardson More:Colts will use RB-by-committee approach despite return of Zack Moss The Jaguars probably have a few hunches. The Indianapolis Star, 6 Sep. 2023 The White House shares the hunch that the pessimism has a lot to do with media coverage. Laura Gersony, ABC News, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hunch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

origin unknown

First Known Use


1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hunch was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near hunch

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to push oneself forward by jerks
hunch nearer the fire
: to bend one's body into an arch or hump
were hunched over the table
: to draw up close together or into an arch
hunched my shoulders


2 of 2 noun
: a strong feeling about what will happen : intuition

More from Merriam-Webster on hunch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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