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

These livestock convert grasses and agricultural waste into fuel, fertilizer, and high-quality nutrients for populations vulnerable to hunger. Amanda Little, The New Republic, "The Meat Mogul’s Case For Lab-Grown Beef," 1 July 2019 The 13-year-old boy, of Bowie, Maryland, has also been passionate about advocacy against childhood hunger and income inequality, according to the Washington Post. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "13-Year-Old Boy Opens Bakery and Gives a Cupcake to the Homeless for Every Treat Sold," 27 June 2019 Farm Share, whose goal is to help reduce hunger and poverty within Florida, was established in 1991 and has been partnering with more than 2,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, churches and other nonprofit agencies throughout the state. Brett Shweky, sun-sentinel.com, "Farm Share to give out free food in movie theater parking lot," 17 June 2019 With both the hunger and humanitarian crises, Sudan needs help (and money) more than ever. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "As Sudan Faces Political Upheaval & A Food Crisis, Here’s How To Help," 15 June 2019 Lawmakers also set aside funds for campuses to combat hunger and homelessness, strengthen veterans resource centers, and provide more mental health counseling. Laurel Rosenhall, The Mercury News, "California just passed a $215 billion budget. Here’s what’s between the lines.," 14 June 2019 The West Alabama Food Bank is a non-profit based in Tuscaloosa with a stated mission of helping to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in nine West Alabama counties. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Alabama sheriff charged with defrauding church in jail food fund scheme," 14 June 2019 Naeher’s hunger and dedication was enough to keep her calling night after night, regularly training five to six days a week with DelloStritto, who owns and coaches at Bravo Goalkeeping. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, a Christian Heritage grad, inspires home state with recent success," 11 June 2019 Bergling: There are four areas of focus—preventing mental illness and suicide, [protecting] threatened animals and nature, eliminating hunger and providing social services. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Avicii's Father on Tim Bergling Foundation: 'We Want Results. We Don't Want To Sit and Talk and Spend Money'," 6 June 2019

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

8 Jul 2019

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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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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