\ 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 Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that can prompt some of the interlocking bones in the spine to fuse, can make people hunch over, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Improve Your Posture Because We’re Pretty Much All Guilty of Slouching," 4 Jan. 2021 Plop your laptop on the kitchen table (or hunch over it on your couch), grit your teeth and get to work. Whitson Gordon, NBC News, "Best mouse 2020: 5 best mice for gaming, working and more," 10 Dec. 2020 Growing up in the South, I was reminded by my mother not to hunch over my plate like an animal every night at dinner. Garrett Munce, Town & Country, "Don't Be a Slouch: Here's How to Perfect Your Posture," 27 Oct. 2020 Being outdoors, staff say, has had positive effects on many of the students, who use stones to work out during physical-education classes and hunch over crawling insects during biodiversity lessons. Washington Post, "With winter on the way and windows open, Europe’s students prepare for the cold," 13 Oct. 2020 The couple’s hunch about carmenere and teroldego proved correct for Kalasi’s 2017 debut vintage, and those that followed. Tina Danze, Dallas News, "Texas grape growers with Dallas roots open Fredericksburg winery," 22 Sep. 2020 Below, workers hunch over machinery, assembling components. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Power pivot: What happens in states where wind dethrones King Coal?," 21 Aug. 2020 Jayden, 12, hunched over a spiral notebook sketching robots, squinting to compensate for the glasses that had broken a few months earlier and had never been replaced. Washington Post, "The pandemic hit and this car became home for a family of four.," 6 June 2020 In normal circumstances, a headache might be an annoyance chalked up to stress or bad posture (hello, hunching over the keyboard). Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Do the Coronavirus Symptoms Include Headache?," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jeong swapped his initial hunch of ex-Dallas Cowboys player Emmitt Smith for his guess earlier in the night, Hart. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "‘I cannot believe that!’: Grandpa Monster unmasked as Logan Paul shocks Nicole Scherzinger on 'Masked Singer'," 1 Apr. 2021 But now, for the first time, science has backed up my hunch that period poop is a super-common phenomenon, albeit an underreported one. Mirel Zaman,, "We Have To Start Talking About Period Poop," 10 Mar. 2021 Dahl conducted a trail camera survey late last year, which revealed a relatively even age-class distribution of deer—and some clues to support his hunch that nutrition is currently a limiting factor for antler growth. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "Quit Worrying About Genetics: How Successful Deer Hunters Think About Antler Growth, Cull Bucks, and Passing Good Deer," 22 Feb. 2021 The team decided to test its hunch that the cluster of sequences represented a new phage defense. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Microbes’ mystery DNA helps defeat viruses—and has genome-editing potential," 11 Nov. 2020 But Bethany had a hunch that Boaz, now 29, was someone of high integrity. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "Minnesota 'saint' gardener uses plant sales to transform lives of youngsters in Tanzania," 19 Mar. 2021 My hunch is that any sufficiently traumatic event creates characters like this: the Bataclan killings in France, the Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Identity Hoaxers," 16 Mar. 2021 On a hunch that the area was clear, Rocky charged in and sets up a few chairs behind a makeshift blind. Ben Romans, Outdoor Life, "Idaho Black Bear Hunting Offers a Close-to-Home Adventure," 9 Mar. 2021 Or heck, just taking a hunch on a dirt road and finding out what’s at the end of it. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "How to Choose Your Own Adventure in Baja," 9 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about hunch

Statistics for hunch

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of hunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunch for Arabic Speakers

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