hunger

noun
hun·ger | \ˈhəŋ-gər \

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 \

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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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

The story trails off behind a summer home, ends with hunger, with an attempt to eat, ends again with a white man, with white hot rage, with fear, and suddenly [the moon might as well be a warning shot*]. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 Her mission is to spare the dogs a life of homelessness, hunger, and lack of medical attention. Christian Scaffidi, NOLA.com, "Pontchartrain Humane Society Pet Adoption Day is May 12," 9 May 2018 The streaming numbers and Instagram followers are just two indicators of our rom-com hunger, though. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix Is Making the Rom-Com Cool Again," 10 July 2018 But his hunger extends beyond the dining table and to the field, too. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "A Hungry Raul Ruidiaz Arrives in Seattle With Clear Mission: Score Goals," 9 July 2018 Ekapol also taught the kids meditation to help them remain calm and not dwell on their hunger. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "'Hero or zero?': Thailand abuzz over coach who led boys into cave – then kept them alive," 5 July 2018 The question is whether that will be enough to both sate and drive his hunger. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Do draft results take sting out of Heat deal for Dragic?," 22 June 2018 Let’s be honest, the Bucks job would not be as appealing without the 23-year-old Greek Freak, whose length and athleticism is perhaps surpassed only by his hunger to win. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: This Bud's for you, Milwaukee Bucks fans," 21 May 2018 In its seemingly endless hunger, the supermassive black hole consumes the mass equivalent of our sun every two days. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Fastest-Growing Black Hole Could Swallow the Sun in Two Days," 16 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 For caregivers hungering for some help with meals, there are a multitude of programs and services throughout San Diego County that will deliver or provide meals that are tailored to seniors’ nutritional needs. Michele Parente, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's meal delivery and nutrition programs," 27 Apr. 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

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

Verb

see hunger entry 1

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Learn More about hunger

Phrases Related to hunger

die from/of hunger

Statistics for hunger

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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)

: to have or feel a strong desire

hunger

noun
hun·ger | \ˈhəŋ-gər \

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 \

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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Comments on hunger

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