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

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Last, and very much least, in the opinion of the surviving Thrombeys, is Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s nurse, who is distraught at his passing—more so than his relatives, whose grief is assuaged by the fortune that they hunger to inherit. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Pastiche and Politics in “Knives Out”," 22 Nov. 2019 Douglass predicted a great influx of Chinese fleeing overcrowding and hunger in their native country, and finding work in the mines and expanding railroads in the West. David W. Blight, The Atlantic, "Frederick Douglass’s Vision for a Reborn America," 9 Nov. 2019 Developing job training programs like the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to help teens gain skills to break the cycle of poverty and hunger. Stephanie Clintonia Boddie, The Conversation, "To solve the hidden epidemic of teen hunger, we should listen to teens who experience it," 6 Nov. 2019 Deer, driven by hunger, browsed the dry grass growing on the roofs. Los Angeles Times, "He was seeking custom-made boots. The journey led to a life deeply touched by love and death and leather," 22 Oct. 2019 But our arrival in the top four must give us the hunger to stay there. Mattias Karen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Spurs stumbles again; Chelsea, Leicester into top 4 in EPL," 19 Oct. 2019 Oxford Empty Bowls, an organization combating hunger, also provides $500 annually. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "'Shocking' number of Cincinnati area college students skip meals, worry about going hungry," 18 Oct. 2019 Bagels Rancheros Makes 2 bagel sandwiches Serious hunger typically doesn’t set in for me until 1-2 days after a massive endurance event. Danika Worthington, The Know, "5 dirtbag camping recipes inspired by Colorado," 9 Oct. 2019 In both campaigns, its leaders consciously presented themselves as free of the corruption, hedonism, and hunger for power that many Israelis see in the long-time prime minister. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political Chaos," 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the Yankees’ starting pitching has stumbled in the past week, leading them to consider deals for starters and relievers with teams hungering for top young players such as Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andújar, Clint Frazier and Deivi Garcia. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "Arms race ahead of MLB trade window shutting Wednesday," 30 July 2019 This nasty, brutish chapter of American politics has voters hungering for stable leadership, a unifying vision, a path out of the darkness. Molly Ball, Time, "What Do the Democrats Stand For? Inside a Fight Over America's Future," 25 July 2019 This was the era when artists started to forsake aristocratic and institutional patronage—bucking the bias of the annual Salon while hungering for inclusion in it—in favor of support from a burgeoning middle class. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Renoir’s Problem Nudes," 19 Aug. 2019 But the Yankees' starting pitching has stumbled in the past week, leading them to consider deals for starters and relievers with teams hungering for top young players such as Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andújar, Clint Frazier and Deivi Garcia. Ronald Blum, courant.com, "Arms race ahead of MLB trade window shutting Wednesday," 30 July 2019 Michael Cotlick, a lawyer for Mr. Berezovsky, said Mr. Glushkov hungered for another company to manage. Alan Cullison, WSJ, "A Trio of Wealthy Russians Made an Enemy of Putin. Now They’re All Dead.," 10 Oct. 2018 Sadly, his abusive behavior belies a fundamental corruption that hungers for power and servitude. Catherine Pilfrey, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: A call for resignations and change at Shambhala — the Boulder-born Buddhist organization," 26 July 2019 Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Now, all of a sudden, there’s a border crisis?," 17 July 2019 Stranger Things 3 debuted on July 4, which means the bingers are already hungering to know what comes next. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "'Stranger Things' Season 4 Will Tie up Loose Ends, but Feel Very Different," 10 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for hunger

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hunger

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hunger.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hunger?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=hunger01. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for hunger

hunger

noun
How to pronounce hunger (audio)

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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Comments on hunger

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