\ 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 Growing up in the South, I was reminded by my mother not to hunch over my plate like an animal every night at dinner. Garrett Munce, Town & Country, "Don't Be a Slouch: Here's How to Perfect Your Posture," 27 Oct. 2020 Being outdoors, staff say, has had positive effects on many of the students, who use stones to work out during physical-education classes and hunch over crawling insects during biodiversity lessons. Washington Post, "With winter on the way and windows open, Europe’s students prepare for the cold," 13 Oct. 2020 The couple’s hunch about carmenere and teroldego proved correct for Kalasi’s 2017 debut vintage, and those that followed. Tina Danze, Dallas News, "Texas grape growers with Dallas roots open Fredericksburg winery," 22 Sep. 2020 Below, workers hunch over machinery, assembling components. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Power pivot: What happens in states where wind dethrones King Coal?," 21 Aug. 2020 Jayden, 12, hunched over a spiral notebook sketching robots, squinting to compensate for the glasses that had broken a few months earlier and had never been replaced. Washington Post, "The pandemic hit and this car became home for a family of four.," 6 June 2020 In normal circumstances, a headache might be an annoyance chalked up to stress or bad posture (hello, hunching over the keyboard). Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Do the Coronavirus Symptoms Include Headache?," 22 Apr. 2020 McKeen’s back ached from hunching over his computer. Christine Fernando, Indianapolis Star, "Stunned by coronavirus, a college town slowly awakens to a surreal new normal," 11 Apr. 2020 Davis, wizened and wire-thin, hunched over a music stand alongside his burly young protégé, who picked up the slack whenever his idol missed a note. Giovanni Russonello,, "Wallace Roney, jazz trumpet virtuoso," 2 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Several compelling signs suggested Petrone’s initial hunch was correct. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Vesuvius’ Scorching Eruption Turned a Man’s Brain Into Glass," 23 Jan. 2020 Most reflect glee over his pugnacious style and a hunch that his incompetence, notably in handling covid-19, has usefully harmed America. The Economist, "Chaguan No American election will change China’s mind," 7 Nov. 2020 Most reflect glee over his pugnacious style and a hunch that his incompetence, notably in handling COVID-19, has usefully harmed America. Star Tribune, "No American election will change China's mind or course," 7 Nov. 2020 Andrean baseball coach Dave Pishkur had a hunch that Mike Brosseau might get on the field against the Yankees in the final game of the AL Division Series on Oct. 9. Mike Hutton,, "Hutton: Andrean’s Mike Brosseau takes the back roads to make it big with the Tampa Bay Rays," 30 Oct. 2020 Giugni had a hunch the two components would harmonize. Esther Mobley,, "An unexpected blend of creamy Chardonnay and fruity Sauvignon Blanc that blew this wine critic's mind," 28 Oct. 2020 Wang had a hunch bats could be the source, but the rest of the team was skeptical. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "This biologist helped trace SARS to bats. Now, he's working to uncover the origins of COVID-19," 30 Sep. 2020 Interim defensive coordinator Craig Naivar, Todd Orlando’s bowl game replacement, had a hunch Ossai could dominate as an edge-rusher. Nick Moyle,, "Texas’ Joseph Ossai looks like ‘a fish in water’ playing JACK," 7 Aug. 2020 Preceding Lucero’s first interception, the Blazers leaned heavily on Brown and the running game throughout the second half but Clark had a hunch that a deep pass toward the end zone would catch the Louisiana defense selling out on the run. Evan Dudley, al, "Late interception ends UAB’s home winning streak in 24-20 loss to Louisiana," 24 Oct. 2020

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

10 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hunch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 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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