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 hunger (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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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 While the THRIVE Act is a sort of historical high-water mark for progressive groups getting on the same page, there’s also a hunger on and around Capitol Hill for further and more pointed coordination. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Are Climate Progressives Organized Enough to Force Biden’s Hand?," 29 Mar. 2021 In a world where global food trends travel more quickly than ever — a hunger for pancakes in Los Angeles on Tuesday means 15 copycat street-food stalls across Europe by Friday — that kind of local flavor is to be cherished. Washington Post, "Mementos from around the world remind this writer of what he loves most about travel: Food.," 26 Mar. 2021 SK Bioscience benefited from retail investors’ hunger for shares. Fortune, "AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer SK Bioscience pops 160% in trading debut," 18 Mar. 2021 With the addition of Peterson, who combines instincts, know-how and a hunger to get his hands on the ball, the secondary has an excellent chance to solidify into a positive unit. Steve Silverman, Forbes, "Peterson, Tomlinson Signings Provide Minnesota Vikings With A Huge Boost On Defense," 18 Mar. 2021 The partying in Savannah and the spring break crowds in Florida are examples of the hunger for a return to normal -- but experts say now is not the time to ditch safety precautions. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "The race between variants and vaccines in US will be a close call, expert warns, and eased restrictions aren't helping," 17 Mar. 2021 Factors driving the increase include widespread hunger in Central America due to recent hurricanes, the economic upheaval of the pandemic, and more fundamental social problems dating back years. Darlene Superville, The Christian Science Monitor, "FEMA called in to help house child migrants at US-Mexico border," 14 Mar. 2021 After enough minimalism, a hunger for plaids and florals comes roaring back. Melissa Rayworth, Star Tribune, "A homebound year has meant rethinking our rooms, belongings," 10 Mar. 2021 As demand for artificial intelligence grows, so does hunger for the computer power needed to keep AI running. Will Knight, Wired, "This Chip for AI Works Using Light, Not Electrons," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In The Telling, Gerson implies: Let any who hunger for meaning come find it in Pesach. Bruce Abramson, National Review, "At Passover, a Uniquely Jewish Text Yields Universal Meaning," 19 Mar. 2021 But in the days leading up to Christmas, some who hunger for time with relatives are striking deals with family members to hole up in their individual homes. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Despite health officials' advice, some Minnesotans are self-quarantining and planning to gather for Christmas," 13 Dec. 2020 Four years from now, these pikers will discover the truth: that the cruelty and contempt are not just the essential ingredients of Trumpism but exactly what Republican voters hunger for. Jonathan V. Last, The New Republic, "The Republican Party Is Dead. It’s the Trump Cult Now.," 16 Nov. 2020 If the current political mood and conditions of the country seems ready-made for promises of dramatic change, that does not necessarily mean most voters are hungering for the same wish list as the ideological left. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Our 2020 Election Guide," 15 May 2020 Day now hungered for action — demonstrations, marches and newspaper articles were no longer enough. Karen Armstrong, New York Times, "Was Dorothy Day a Saint or a Subversive?," 3 Mar. 2020 With young professionals and empty-nesters hungering for homes inside Loop 410 and less open land for development on the North Side, investors are relying on a combination of tactics to find potential sellers. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "In fast-changing San Antonio neighborhoods, homeowners flooded with offers from investors," 16 Jan. 2020 Those stories whet the appetites for success of others and inspire them - and all of us - to continue hungering and working for more. Aegis Staff Report, baltimoresun.com, "Feed your appetite for inspiration at the Taste of SUCCESS on Nov. 1 in Bel Air," 27 Oct. 2019 Researchers found that classical music had an initial calming effect, but the mutts soon hungered for other tunes. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Where My Dogs At? Spotify Launches Playlists for Pets," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Learn More about hunger

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

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hunger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hunger. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on hunger

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