hunger

noun
hun·​ger | \ ˈhəŋ-gər How to pronounce hunger (audio) \

Definition of hunger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

hunger

verb
hungered; hungering\ ˈhəŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hungering (audio) \

Definition of hunger (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to feel or suffer hunger (see hunger entry 1) feasting while the poor hunger
2 : to have an eager desire The nation hungers for a strong leader.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hunger

Synonyms: Noun

appetite, belly, emptiness, famishment, munchies, stomach

Antonyms: Noun

inappetence

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Choose the Right Synonym for hunger

Verb

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

Examples of hunger in a Sentence

Noun

She has been a leader in the fight against world hunger. One sandwich wasn't enough to satisfy his hunger. Her students have a genuine hunger for knowledge.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Alas, starving my kids and/or letting their hunger devolve into tantrums is not a feasible way forward for me. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Picky Eaters? For Parents, Food-Shaming Is All Too Real," 28 Jan. 2019 Rampant corruption has emptied coffers leaving little for oil field investments while technicians have been quitting to flee punishing rates of crime, hunger and hyperinflation. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "U.S. Considers Harshest Venezuela Sanctions Yet, on Oil," 14 Jan. 2019 Our bodies are naturally set up to help us figure out when to eat, both for hunger and for pleasure. SELF, "PSA: Healthy Eating Should Include Mental and Social Health, Too.," 11 Jan. 2019 Giay said villagers who fled into the mountainous jungle were in danger of being sick from cold and hunger. Niniek Karmini, The Seattle Times, "Indonesia rejects rebels’ demand on Papua independence talks," 11 Dec. 2018 True love may still exist—the singer was simply blinded by extreme hunger. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Temporarily Gave Up on True Love Because She Was Hangry, and Honestly, Same," 2 Dec. 2018 When hunger seemingly comes out of nowhere, check your medicine cabinet. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Hungry?," 19 Oct. 2018 To this day, the hole in the landscape is momentarily a confusing loss, an ache in the gut like hunger. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 Schools may be on a break for the summer, but the hunger inside youngsters doesn't know it's vacation time. Rick Mauch, star-telegram, "Free summer lunches a tasty hit in Fort Worth area," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The liberal sees his virtue in speaking up for the underdog, hungering for social justice, showing a spirit of empathy. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "There’s Too Much Virtue in Politics," 31 July 2018 The serial worrier in me can’t resist issuing a stern caution to those who hunger for the modern-day Transaction Game as much as (or more than) the game itself. Marc Stein, New York Times, "The N.B.A. Has the Hottest Stove. LeBron James Is the Flame.," 30 June 2018 But a screw-up that caused the landmark film to enter the public domain has provided some room for other authors to put their own spin on the undead hungering for human flesh. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead' Is Target of Copyright Lawsuit," 27 June 2018 Someone who sold himself as a common man but hungered to live — above his means, if necessary — like a high roller. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Uresti was a great story that turned tragic," 20 June 2018 Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin do good work as the sons who fight for power within Waystar Royco while hungering for their father’s approval, as does Sarah Snook as their sister, a political consultant who watches from the sidelines. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: In HBO’s ‘Succession,’ the Family That Preys Together," 1 June 2018 The works had only two things in common: Readers hungered for them, and each had been designated contraband by the Communist Party’s Central Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideology. Alex W. Palmer, New York Times, "The Case of Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers," 3 Apr. 2018 Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori has hungered to buy Xerox for decades. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Paper Jam! How Carl Icahn And a Billionaire Partner Blocked Xerox’s Merger with Fujifilm," 21 May 2018 Certain readers will hunger as well for sharper and more debatable insights about range management and the West. Nathan Deuel, latimes.com, "True grit in the modern American West: 'The Last Cowboys' by John Branch," 10 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of hunger

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hunger

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for hunger

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hunger

The first known use of hunger was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hunger

hunger

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hunger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of hunger (Entry 2 of 2)

literary : to have or feel a strong desire

hunger

noun
hun·​ger | \ ˈhəŋ-gər How to pronounce hunger (audio) \

Kids Definition of hunger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

hunger

verb
hungered; hungering

Kids Definition of hunger (Entry 2 of 2)

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

hunger

noun
hun·​ger | \ ˈhəŋ-gər How to pronounce hunger (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hunger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hunger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hunger

Spanish Central: Translation of hunger

Nglish: Translation of hunger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunger for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hunger

Comments on hunger

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