\ ˈhənch How to pronounce hunch (audio) \
hunched; hunching; hunches

Definition of hunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : 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 cronies— Mary Nash
2 : 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 forward— Tennessee Williams

intransitive verb

1 : to thrust oneself forward hunched along for a short spell of safe steps— T. B. Costain
2a : to assume a bent or crooked posture folded his hands on the table and hunched forward— Hugh MacLennan
b : to draw oneself into a ball : curl up hunch beneath the covers— Randall Jarrell
c : huddle, squat we hunched close to the damp earth— H. D. Skidmore the mountains hunched around the valley— Helen Rich



Definition of hunch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : 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 foot— Abraham Tucker
2a : a thick piece : lump barter it for a hunch of cake— Flora Thompson
b : a rounded mass : hump his back carried a huge hunch— William Scoresby
3 : a strong intuitive feeling concerning especially a future event or result had a hunch I would find you here

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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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For weeks, Weinstein, who is 67 and recently had back surgery, has sat at the defense table, seemingly frail, slightly hunched, and worn. Jan Ransom,, "Key Question in Weinstein Trial: ‘Do You Believe the Women?’," 6 Feb. 2020 Soon, a man hunched with age came to the door with his walker. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "As the city's senior population grows, Meals on Wheels feeds hundreds in Louisville," 20 Dec. 2019 One man looms over the other, who is hunched in a chair, his head bent low. Alexandra Peers, WSJ, "‘Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Specters and Parables’ Review: Where the Gorgeous and Cryptic Meet," 1 Feb. 2020 In a tighter movie, that could’ve been it for Ahch-To: Generations turning, youth energized with possibility, age hunched in wisdom and memory. Darren Franich,, "Star Wars rewatch: The Last Jedi destroys a legend to rebuild the same legend," 16 Dec. 2019 Jordan has made a splash in the impeachment hearings, sitting hunched in shirt sleeves, peering over his glasses and questioning witnesses with the intensity of a prosecutor, speed of an auctioneer and whirring mind of a conspiracy theorist. Washington Post, "Jim Jordan used to torment GOP leadership. Now he’s leading them in defending Trump.," 21 Nov. 2019 His son later found his mom hunched over in a nearby barn, impaled on the rake. Dave Quinn,, "Iowa Farmer Found Guilty of Killing Wife With Corn Rake," 24 Sep. 2019 Sickly green light washed over the stubble and pale complexion of the man hunched in front of his computer monitor. David L. Craddock, Ars Technica, "How a basement hacker transformed Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600," 14 Sep. 2019 When the movie producer stood — slightly hunched because of a recent back injury — one woman in a back row rolled her eyes. Jan Ransom, New York Times, "Facing Weinstein, Scores of Potential Jurors Say They Can’t be Fair," 8 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My hunch is that there are a ton of points scored in this one but my official stance is to PASS ON THE TOTAL. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets odds, picks and best bets," 9 Feb. 2020 Maybe the price tag, but my hunch is that this rifle is worth it. Outdoor Life, "The Best New Hunting Rifles of 2020," 23 Jan. 2020 Today, measurable and quantifiable data is the new hunch. Eric Titner, USA TODAY, "The top 4 emerging trends that will shape recruiting in 2018," 7 Apr. 2018 The police had no more than a hunch that Heuring had removed the device, the court said, and that wasn't enough to get a search warrant. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Removing a GPS tracking device from your car isn’t theft, court rules," 24 Feb. 2020 The hiring science of a good hunch Competition for good talent only seems to be growing fiercer. Jennifer Risi, Quartz at Work, "The culture-shifting benefits of hiring an unlikely candidate," 3 Feb. 2020 That hunch was confirmed by whalers in New England in the 1700s poking around with spades in the rectums of dead sperm whales. Joshua Sokol, New York Times, "New Origin Story for Gross Blobs That Wash Up on Beaches," 4 Feb. 2020 Her hunch was vindicated; the spectator was a plant sent by a far-right group. The Economist, "Pursued by a bear The many ways to censor cutting-edge art in Russia," 30 Jan. 2020 Call it a hunch but maybe the way the Utes throttled UCLA moves the needle for one week. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Could Clemson pass up Ohio State in the College Football Playoff rankings?," 19 Nov. 2019

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


1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hunch

Verb and Noun

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for hunch

Time Traveler

The first known use of hunch was in 1581

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Statistics for hunch

Last Updated

21 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for hunch


How to pronounce hunch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bend your body forward and down so that your back is rounded
: to raise (your shoulders or back) while bending your head forward especially to hide or protect your face



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

: a belief or idea about something (especially a future event) that is not based on facts or evidence


\ ˈhənch How to pronounce hunch (audio) \
hunched; hunching

Kids Definition of hunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to bend the body into an arch or hump Don't hunch over when you walk.
2 : to draw up close together or into an arch The cat hunched its back.



Kids Definition of hunch (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strong feeling about what will happen I have a hunch she will forgive him.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hunch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hunch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hunch

Spanish Central: Translation of hunch

Nglish: Translation of hunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunch for Arabic Speakers

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