\ 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


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

The driver looked hunched over and the passenger also appeared to be dozing off. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Disturbing video shows driver apparently asleep in moving Tesla on highway," 10 Sep. 2019 Laura Johnson shuffled over to her coffee pot, hunched over at a 90-degree angle. Jasmine Johnson, Twin Cities, "Chronic pain patient leads charge in favor of opioids, despite addiction fears," 25 Aug. 2019 Their days were spent in the bowels of the Smithsonian, hunched over jars of marine worms in alcohol or endless trays of fossils. Smithsonian, "The Hard-Drinking Early Smithsonian Naturalists of the Megatherium Club," 4 Sep. 2019 Or at the library, hunched over a computer, probably emailing me. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Where Is Neil Malcolm Roberts?," 29 June 2019 Mark Ronson was hunched over a bowl of matzo-ball soup at the Fine & Schapiro kosher deli, on the Upper West Side. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Mark Ronson’s Midlife Crisis," 2 Sep. 2019 In the wee hours of the morning, I was hunched over the bathroom sink, just me, my blouse, my jeans and a pair of socks. Los Angeles Times, "Revealed: The dirty little secrets of doing hand laundry on the road," 30 Aug. 2019 Marsh said, hunched over a laptop as the bus eased down Drumm Street at 5:15 p.m on Tuesday, already a third full. Rachel Swan,, "New bus lines could help solve S.F.-to-Peninsula commuting woes," 29 Aug. 2019 The sound of class bells, the smell of the cafeteria, the boring posture of hunching over a desk, were all ditched in a glorious rush of running, bicycling, swimming, or lying on your back in the grass. Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Kids moaning? Must be back to school time," 25 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But my hunch is that personal attributes and personal stories will matter far more to Democratic primary voters than the fine print in position papers. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "What the Press Gets Wrong About Primary Debates," 13 Sep. 2019 The Pinot Noir from his vineyard quickly proved that his hunch was true. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, "Some of California’s Most Famous Wines Came from a Science Experiment," 8 Sep. 2019 My hunch is this Facebook-only thing is going to cause a different kind of storm. oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon State-Hawaii football broadcast creates a storm of Pac-12 discussion," 4 Sep. 2019 The detective started following the man and contacted dispatch, who confirmed that his hunch was correct — a shoplifter had just stolen merchandise from that business. Emily Sweeney,, "Stolen laundry and the great toothpaste robbery," 24 July 2019 Wainwright had a hunch that the online consignment business was untapped and full of potential. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Rati Levesque, Chief Operating Officer of The RealReal," 26 Aug. 2019 The 13 Reasons Why fan thinks Deputy Standall actually helped Monty escape prison and is holding him in a safehouse, though that theory seems less likely, since Deputy Standall has a hunch his son Alex had something to do with Bryce's murder. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Some "13 Reasons Why" Fans Think They've Figured Out Whether Monty is Really Dead," 3 Sep. 2019 If your hunch is that Petersen’s talking about media hype: ding-ding-ding. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Oregon-Auburn is monumental for the Pac-12 (and we explain why)," 30 Aug. 2019 If my hunch is right, this raises the question, why would women, most of whom are, by the law of averages, not gay, adopt such an aesthetic? Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "Behind the Times," 22 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near hunch








Statistics for hunch

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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 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

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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