\ 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 But Refree is hipsterishly hunched over his instrument, head down, hacking out a minimal, grungy figure, a brief spiral of drone. James Parker, The Atlantic, "How Flamenco Went Pop," 21 Dec. 2019 Obama, wearing a polo shirt and light coat, is hunched forward and perched on a folding chair slightly off center. Aamer Madhani, Twin Cities, "Situation Room: 2 photos capture vastly different presidents," 27 Oct. 2019 The dancers sit diagonally, feet flat with knees bent, hunched over their legs. Lauren Warnecke,, "Review: Despair, hope and stick-to-itiveness are the themes of Harvest Dance’s first weekend," 21 Sep. 2019 At the back of the stage, a 14-year-old in black heels hunched her shoulders and tried to shrink into the shadows. Washington Post, "In Philippine red-light district, an uphill struggle to battle trafficking and abuses," 18 Nov. 2019 Police curbed the cab a block away and found Stewart hunched in the backseat, smelling strongly of gasoline, police and prosecutors said. William Lee,, "Prosecutors: Angry ex accused of making cabbie stop at gas station ahead of apartment building fire," 3 Nov. 2019 Emma, the doll, has a hunched back, excess weight, tired eyes and ... an uncanny resemblance to Nicolas Cage? Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Office Worker of 2040 Is Pretty Much Nicolas Cage, Only a Lady," 1 Nov. 2019 To walk meant to move hunched over, slowly, both hands holding your hat. Tim Arango, New York Times, "‘Devil Winds’ Drive Southern California Fires," 30 Oct. 2019 During a recent carving day at Descanso’s Van de Kamp Hall, artists hunched over orange behemoths, carving and putting final details on portraits and intricately rendered Halloween scenes. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Humble gourds become canvases at Descanso’s Halloween-themed ‘Carved’," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His research, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, supports his early hunch. Wired, "Police Shootings May Be Causing Black Infants Long-Term Harm," 6 Dec. 2019 Courtesy The research backs up my hunch that travel is the mother of invention. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "How to Travel the World Without Begging for More Vacation Days," 22 Nov. 2019 People who know Tom's bio had a hunch his performance would be good, too. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Twitter Is Reliving Tom Holland and Zendaya’s Epic Lip Sync Battle Because It’s Just THAT Good," 18 Sep. 2019 At L’Equipe, editors had a hunch that this World Cup could be different, pushing women’s soccer into the big time. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "No longer sidelined, women’s soccer attracts players and fans in France," 27 June 2019 Follow a hunch to get to the bottom of a baffling situation. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 12, 2019: Aquarius, your charm wins the day; Virgo, curiosity killed the cat," 12 Dec. 2019 Subsequent experiments on elephant cells confirmed this hunch. Quanta Magazine, "A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer," 7 Nov. 2017 As someone who's been spending serious time observing how people use emoji over the past few years, my hunch was no. Wired, "New Emoji Are So Boring—but They Don't Have to Be," 8 Nov. 2019 My own hunch is that the British people, in their wisdom, will reject it. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Brexit Some Other Time," 28 Oct. 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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 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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