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 The menu reflects a joyful appetite for Chesapeake regional cuisine, tempered by a chef’s hunger for innovation. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Review: At this new Hampden restaurant, invasive species like snakehead and blue catfish are approachable and delicious," 4 Dec. 2019 Taking away basic food assistance from these individuals will only increase hardship and hunger, while doing nothing to help them find steady full-time work. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, "Nearly 700,000 will lose food stamps with USDA work requirement change," 4 Dec. 2019 Lake Highland coach Ben Fratrik believes a strong showing by Stewart in the Highlanders’ district tournament title run last season might have sparked Miles’ hunger to pursue his full potential. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "NBA dad gave big assist to Lake Highland Prep | Metro vs. Florida basketball," 1 Dec. 2019 Each story stands alone, but all touch in one way or another on food insecurity — a polite term for hunger — a national disgrace that Barr is doing his best to help alleviate. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Literary pick of the week: Roger Barr’s ‘Christmas Promise’ collects annual stories from Villager newspaper," 1 Dec. 2019 Nichole Stangel, the bereavement coordinator from Children’s who worked with the Andersons, also recognized Darrin’s hunger for an explanation. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After his son's mysterious death, a Wisconsin dad researched 6,000 rare diseases. Then doctors found the answer that saved his other child.," 26 Nov. 2019 Around the time of the Green Revolution, the idea was to address hunger, so the focus was on calories through carbohydrates. Shivam Vij, Quartz India, "India’s Green Revolution, which once staved off famines, is now threatening lives," 7 Nov. 2019 Anywhere between 30 million to 45 million died, some through torture, but most from hunger, and the birth rate plummeted. Jane Li, Quartz, "In its seven decades, Communist China lived through famine, class struggle, and an astonishing economic rise," 30 Sep. 2019 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 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

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hunger.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hungering?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=hunger02. Accessed 15 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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