\ ˈhənt How to pronounce hunt (audio) \
hunted; hunting; hunts

Definition of hunt

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to pursue for food or in sport hunt buffalo
b : to manage in the search for game hunts a pack of dogs
2a : to pursue with intent to capture hunted the escapees
b : to search out : seek
3 : to drive or chase especially by harrying members … were hunted from their homes— J. T. Adams
4 : to traverse in search of prey hunts the woods

intransitive verb

1 : to take part in a hunt
2 : to attempt to find something
3 : to oscillate alternately to each side (as of a neutral point) or to run alternately faster and slower used especially of a device or machine



Definition of hunt (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : the act, the practice, or an instance of hunting
2 : a group of mounted hunters and their hunting dogs


biographical name (1)
\ ˈhənt How to pronounce Hunt (audio) \

Definition of Hunt (Entry 3 of 5)

(James Henry) Leigh 1784–1859 English writer


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hunt (Entry 4 of 5)

Sir R(ichard) Timothy 1943–     British molecular biologist


biographical name (3)

Definition of Hunt (Entry 5 of 5)

(William) Hol*man \ ˈhōl-​mən How to pronounce Hunt (audio) \ 1827–1910 English painter

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Synonyms for hunt

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of hunt in a Sentence

Verb The wolf was hunting its prey. These birds have been hunted almost to extinction. a gun used for hunting squirrels He likes to hunt and fish. She hunted around in the closet for a pair of shoes. Police hunted the escaped prisoners through several states. Noun They went on a hunt. We finally found a good restaurant after a long hunt.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ibara, 37, went to the West St. Paul Walmart with her daughter, neighbor and other family members to hunt for deals including TVs and Apple Watches. Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, "Malls busy on Black Friday but not as busy as past years," 27 Nov. 2020 The evening is hosted by true-crime author Mickie McKittrick (Mike Ostroski), who leads attendees through the potential suspects in the Taylor case to hunt for new answers. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Citizen Detective offers a heartening clue for the future of virtual theater: Review," 23 Nov. 2020 New research shows that urban light also appears to be attracting those herds, and that cougars follow behind to hunt them. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Study shows light pollution attracts deer to urban areas, and cougars follow," 11 Nov. 2020 The allure is built around an abundance of birds that are challenging to hit and a wealth of places to hunt them at an affordable price. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Dove hunting season preview: Hunters will go far afield in quest for popular game bird," 29 Aug. 2020 The allure is built around an abundance of birds that are challenging to hit and a wealth of places to hunt them at an affordable price. Matt Williams,, "In the age of COVID-19, dove hunting a respite," 20 Aug. 2020 Instead, try encouraging natural predators like foxes, owls, hawks, and weasels to hunt them. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Yes, You're Seeing More Chipmunks Than Usual Right Now," 28 July 2020 Anthony, who’s also 6-foot-3, likes to hunt for jump shots off the dribble. Christian Clark,, "With backcourt logjam potentially clearing, Pelicans could choose guard in Wednesday's draft," 13 Nov. 2020 Americans turned to social media to hunt for news, offer opinions and, well, in some cases insult their presidential candidate of choice. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Election report card: 'Social media has not been fair,' Trump and Biden supporters grade Facebook and Twitter," 5 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Coastal Carolina remains in the hunt for the coveted New Year’s Six Access Bowl spot. Matt Murschel,, "Tide, Gators on collision course; Ohio State survives big test | College football report," 23 Nov. 2020 Well, now the Vikings are riding a three-game winning streak and are squarely in the hunt for a playoff spot. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings picks, predictions: Who wins Week 11 NFL game?," 17 Nov. 2020 Anyone who has watched the Bears' 10 games this season and the 16 from a year ago know this team isn’t in the hunt for anything. Howard Sinker, Star Tribune, "For angry Bears fans, here's what the media was feeding them after Monday's loss to the Vikings," 17 Nov. 2020 One year when our son was about 5-years-old, my wife arranged a spring Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood kids. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Squirrels, chipmunks and deer — oh my! Here's what to plant that these critters won't eat," 23 Oct. 2020 Some families are doing a Halloween twist on the Easter egg hunt. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "Halloween 2020: Candy Chutes. Quarantined Books. Virtual Costume Contests.," 13 Oct. 2020 Voss went on an aoudad hunt in Texas and came back with no real idea if the big 8 was even around. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Best Bucks of September 2020," 9 Oct. 2020 Go-tos such as the Easter egg hunt were off the table. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "'We had to come up with something': Why food trucks are popping up in your neighborhood," 4 Sep. 2020 The stories around the campfire, fueled somewhat by a few six-packs, should be more entertaining than an actual hunt. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "‘That was my dog’: Even if you don’t get a moose, you might hear some tall tales around the campfire," 22 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hunt.' 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 hunt


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hunt


Middle English, from Old English huntian; akin to Old English hentan to seize

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Learn More about hunt

Time Traveler for hunt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hunt

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for hunt


How to pronounce Hunt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to chase and kill (wild animals) for food or pleasure
: to search for something or someone very carefully and thoroughly



English Language Learners Definition of hunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: an occasion when people hunt wild animals
: an act of searching for something or someone
chiefly British : a group of people who hunt foxes together


\ ˈhənt How to pronounce hunt (audio) \
hunted; hunting

Kids Definition of hunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to chase after in order to capture or kill hunt deer
2 : to try to find I hunted for my key.

Other Words from hunt

hunting noun



Kids Definition of hunt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an instance or the practice of chasing to capture or kill
2 : an act of searching

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