\ 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

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: Verb This hunch that certain behaviors began before dog breeds helps explain why the study team found that traits like retrieving, pointing and howling — behaviors described as motor patterns — are more heritable. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Engineers, most of them in their twenties and thirties, hunch over keyboards. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 The further your shoulders hunch, the more strain there is on the mid-back (thoracic spine). Ben Walker, Outside Online, 28 Aug. 2020 The 40-minute video below, which is the sixth installment of Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, seeks to counteract all of that forward hunch that many of us are all too familiar with. Christa Sgobba, SELF, 22 Dec. 2021 Her shoulders hunch forward, her spine following the curve of a question mark. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 Aug. 2021 Using a standing desk at the proper height prevents the tendency to hunch over and keeps your arms and forearms at neutral. Zac Ginsburg, Wired, 22 June 2021 Your shoulders will hunch forward and your body will ache. Carla Ciccone, The New Yorker, 12 June 2021 Just as Games 1 and 2 were outlier shooting performances in Dallas’ favor, Game 4 went the other way, proving Lue’s hunch correct that the Mavericks would have to cool off at some point. Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The historic Metropolitan Storage building in Cambridge was closing, and the story — and especially its evocative photos — sparked a hunch. Kate Tuttle,, 11 May 2022 His hunch was seemingly confirmed in 2011, when he was introduced to the Seri, a remote tribe on the eastern shore of the Gulf of California. The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 Turns out his hunch was right, while the Jaguars protected their intentions like a state secret. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 In the years that followed, many investigators set out to assess whether this hunch was correct. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 26 Oct. 2021 Still, even with this hunch, longtime supporters weren’t prepared for the farewell. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 26 May 2021 To confirm this hunch, however, scientists need to collect neural recordings using electrodes while the octopuses sleep, which may be a challenge as the cephalopods tend to remove anything placed on their bodies, Live Science reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Mar. 2021 The fact that most long-Covid patients are women may be an important clue in support of this hunch. New York Times, 21 Jan. 2021 Our hunch was that people who strongly related to something would able to do that more effectively. Sonaiya Kelleystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

3 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hunch


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on hunch

Nglish: Translation of hunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunch for Arabic Speakers


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