\ˈhənch \
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


He hunched his shoulders as he headed out into the storm. he hunched next to a bush to avoid being seen


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

Salemme, who headed the New England family of La Cosa Nostra, shuffles in and out of the courtroom, hunched over, only occasionally lifting his head to wave and wink at a reporter who has covered him for decades. Washington Post, "The last Mafioso? ‘Cadillac Frank’ trial shows mob’s decline," 17 June 2018 The video made public Wednesday shows Cruz hunched over at times, leaning back at others. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Parkland shooting investigator says Cruz could have been stopped if there was 'somebody in there with a gun'," 10 Aug. 2018 Keep your back flat and gaze upward to avoid hunching forward., "A cardio circuit for people who hate running," 26 June 2018 Kuznetsov returned no worse for wear after exiting Game 2 hunched over with left arm pain, while bottom-line winger Devante Smith-Pelly provided the third goal Saturday for his fifth of the playoffs. Alex Prewitt,, "Alex Ovechkin 'Possessed' in High-Energy Game 3 Performance," 3 June 2018 The classes usually include exercises that make people stand up straight and open their chests because people with Parkinson’s tend to hunch over as their bodies weaken. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Counter punches: Rock Steady Boxing helps manage symptoms of Parkinson's disease," 24 Apr. 2018 Make sure your core is tight, your chest is elevated, your shoulders are down and back (not hunched), and your head is naturally in line with your spine. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Chelsea Handler’s Total-Body Move Will Strengthen and Stabilize Your Core," 3 Apr. 2018 One whole page is filled with an oversize, hunched, anxious Porcupine, little paws seeming to flex and clench with existential dread. New York Times, "Brief Tales for New Readers and Little Listeners From Philip Stead and More," 29 June 2018 Some of them are hunched over tables chopping vegetables and meat. Elaine Heinzman, Smithsonian, "How Soup Nourishes Barcelona’s Tradition of Welcoming Immigrants," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My hunch was that Alana was in the middle of a vestibular migraine, a variant where the brain’s electrical waves propagate through the cerebellum, the brain’s balance center. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018 The RealReal opened up a holiday pop-up store in 2016 and proved their hunch was right. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Retailers Looking to Test Run Stores See Opportunity in Short-Term Leases," 1 Sep. 2018 The company already had a strong hunch about using orchids in skin products. Lawrence Osborne, Town & Country, "The Hidden Power of Orchids," 14 Apr. 2017 At night, patrons sipped Spotted Cow ale and threw out hunches at ER Bar: Maybe there was a boyfriend? Tim Gruber, The Seattle Times, "Mystery in a small town: A quiet couple are shot dead, their daughter is missing," 6 Nov. 2018 Eve’s hunch is validated when the victim’s girlfriend, through a haze of drugs and trauma, describes the assassin, in colloquial Polish, as flat chested. David Kamp, WSJ, "Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a Powerhouse on the Rise," 5 Nov. 2018 Lingon’s hunch proved correct, and the ring sold at auction for $1.5 million. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How to Spot Fake Jewelry, According to the Experts," 17 Sep. 2018 Pearce is referring to his Franken-schlep silhouette, one that curves with a scoliotic-like hunch, seemingly bearing the weight of the world. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Casting Director’s Zombie Walk Just Won New York Fashion Week," 14 Sep. 2018 Figuring out what caused these hunches could be a big help in working out why some studies replicate and others don’t. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Social science has a complicated, infinitely tricky replication crisis," 28 Aug. 2018

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


origin unknown


see hunch entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near hunch








Statistics for hunch

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hunch

The first known use of hunch was in 1581

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More Definitions for hunch



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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hunch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hunch

Spanish Central: Translation of hunch

Nglish: Translation of hunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hunch

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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