1

hunger

noun hun·ger \ ˈhəŋ-gər \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of hunger

1 a : a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient
b : an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food
  • The small meal wasn't enough to satisfy his hunger.
c : a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food
  • died of hunger
2 : a strong desire : craving
  • a hunger for success
from hunger
: very bad or inept
  • the jokes were from hunger
  • —Mordecai Richler

Examples of hunger in a Sentence

  1. She has been a leader in the fight against world hunger.

  2. One sandwich wasn't enough to satisfy his hunger.

  3. Her students have a genuine hunger for knowledge.

Recent Examples of hunger from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hunger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of hunger

Middle English, from Old English hungor; akin to Old High German hungar hunger, Lithuanian kanka torture


2

hunger

verb

Definition of hunger

hungered; hungering play \ˈhəŋ-g(ə-)riŋ\
intransitive verb
1 : to feel or suffer hunger (see 1hunger)
  • feasting while the poor hunger
2 : to have an eager desire
  • The nation hungers for a strong leader.
transitive verb
: to make hungry

Recent Examples of hunger from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hunger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of hunger

Synonym Discussion of hunger

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain.
    • longed for some rest
yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing.
    • yearned for a stage career
hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire.
    • always hankering for money
pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible.
    • pined for a lost love
hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need.
    • hungered for a business of his own
    • thirsted for power


HUNGER Defined for English Language Learners

hunger

noun

Definition of hunger for English Language Learners

  • : a very great need for food : a severe lack of food

  • : an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach that is caused by the need for food

  • : a strong desire : a strong desire for something or to do something


hunger

verb

Definition of hunger for English Language Learners

  • : to have or feel a strong desire


HUNGER Defined for Kids

1

hunger

noun hun·ger \ ˈhəŋ-gər \

Definition of hunger for Students

1 : a desire or a need for food
2 : a strong desire
  • a hunger for knowledge

2

hunger

verb

Definition of hunger for Students

hungered; hungering
1 : to feel a desire or need for food
2 : to have a strong desire
  • He hungered to return home.

Medical Dictionary

hunger

noun hun·ger \ ˈhəŋ-gər \

medical Definition of hunger

1 : a craving, desire, or urgent need for food
2 : an uneasy sensation occasioned normally by the lack of food and resulting directly from stimulation of the sensory nerves of the stomach by the contraction and churning movement of the empty stomach
3 : a weakened disordered condition brought about by prolonged lack of food
  • die of hunger


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