\ 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

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 Professional clubhouses today tend to have lockers occupied by athletes hunched over their smartphone screens. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Introducing Shayna Rubin: Early impressions of a new A’s beat writer," 12 Aug. 2019 Because pasta salads are such common on-the-go, potluck dishes, stick with shorter shapes that are easily scooped and eaten standing up (or hunched over a desk?). Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Quality over quantity: How to throw together a spectacular pasta salad," 26 July 2019 He was hunched over a map, making calculations with occasional reference to the instruments before him. David Canfield,, "First Look: The Andromeda Strain is back with a new look for its 50th anniversary," 26 June 2019 Ahmad goes to his mom’s room and finds her on the edge of her bed, hunched over, bawling into hands that are balled into fists. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Colts LB Ahmad Thomas was born without a family or future, then he found both," 3 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Zoey Tur was piloting a helicopter for KCBS-TV and had a hunch: Maybe Simpson had gone to Orange County to visit Nicole’s grave. Richard Winton,, "This news chopper crew spotted O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco, and the chase was on," 17 June 2019 But if Google’s hunch about regulator’s attitudes towards services like these is accurate, then Facebook’s program could be facing its own scrutiny soon enough. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google stops sharing Android user data that helped carriers plan coverage," 20 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Such recollections lead Chaguan to what may seem an odd hunch. The Economist, "Why Chinese officials like useless meetings in over-stuffed chairs," 1 Aug. 2019 Several years ago, Oberdoerffer followed a hunch that cells might use another simple chemical unit, an acetyl group, on mRNA. Ken Garber, Science | AAAS, "Hidden layer of gene control influences everything from cancer to memory," 1 July 2019 During the math lesson, they hunch over Olson's desk and work problem-by-problem on box plots. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Squeezed by declining enrollment, Arizona's rural schools are suffering," 12 June 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

20 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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