\ 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 Somewhere else, Salvini was hunched over his mobile device of choice, banging out fresh threats. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, "Inside the effort to rescue Europe’s unwelcome immigrants," 17 Oct. 2019 In his debut collection for Margiela, Galliano sent models down the runway hunched over with major slouches. Cady Lang, Time, "Storm Into All Situations With the Aggressive Confidence Levels of This Runway Walk to End All Runway Walks," 30 Sep. 2019 Ahmed Mahmoud Galal Yousif sat hunched in a quiet studio at the Kuona art center west of Nairobi, his fingers moving deftly over a new sketchbook. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Sudan’s street protests have inspired another revolution—in art," 12 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This hunch was confirmed by a traffic standstill in front of one row of betting kiosks, where a trio of dazed dudes stood staring at a screen that had just gone blank after accepting their wad of bills., "A new game in town," 10 Nov. 2019 While the streaming giant did not disclose who would play Fiona in their tweet, fans had an immediate hunch. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Vanessa Hudgens Will Play Three Characters in “Princess Switch” Sequel," 30 Oct. 2019 As Paramount's head of worldwide production from 1966 to 1975, his commercial choices and hunch for talent were credited with helping lift the company's sagging fortunes with a staggering variety of popular and often critical hits. cleveland, "Robert Evans, Hollywood mogul of legendary bravado, dies at 89," 28 Oct. 2019 Leonard isn’t freelancing, per se, isn’t playing hunches with reckless disregard for the rest of the defense. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "We asked coaches whom Darius Leonard reminds them of. They listed hall of famers.," 24 Oct. 2019 Glanville and Babinski have translated hunches into practices, which then become trends industrywide. Jordan Michelman, Los Angeles Times, "Go Get Em Tiger, L.A.’s burgeoning coffee franchise, is serving up one of the city’s best cheeseburgers," 23 Oct. 2019 One team of oceanographers, led by David and Denise Holland, had a collective hunch. Jonathan Nackstrand, National Geographic, "Greenland's melting ice may affect everyone's future," 15 Oct. 2019 Then Jackson looks in the direction of the camera, hoists his eyebrows, and hunches into the posture a running back uses to take a handoff. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Lamar Jackson and the NFL’s Quarterback Double Standard," 20 Sep. 2019 Based on a true story and set at the turn of World War II, Dig focuses on a widow (Mulligan) with a hunch that her land contains buried riches. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Carey Mulligan to Star in Netflix Drama 'The Dig' (Exclusive)," 30 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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Learn More about hunch

Statistics for hunch

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hunch

The first known use of hunch was in 1581

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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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