\ 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 ˈhōl-mən (audio)\ 1827–1910 English painter

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Synonyms for hunt

Synonyms: Verb

chase, stalk

Synonyms: Noun

quest, search

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Examples of hunt in a Sentence


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.


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

In fact, that hunting heritage was the inspiration for Kolanko’s comforting and colorful Carrot Strozzapreti with Summer Savory Pork Sausage. San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 chefs share recipes inspired by their cooking dads," 11 June 2019 This runs contrary to the cougar’s natural tendency to hunt by stalking and attacking from ambush. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Cougar spotted in southeastern Minnesota community," 5 June 2019 Investigators started hunting down DNA samples from the sons., "Decades after a couple was killed on a hiking trail, a sealed envelope leads to an arrest," 3 June 2019 The museum’s origins date back to the early 1900s when hunting was at its height of popularity. John Goodspeed, San Antonio Express-News, "German hunting, fishing museum spans history back to the stone age," 14 June 2018 Myers said a team of hunting dogs was called in, and the animal was tracked down and euthanized. John R. Ellement,, "Bicyclist who died in cougar attack had strong ties to Boston," 22 May 2018 The hunting party then tracked the animal into the national park but could not find it, according to prosecutors. Washington Post, "Charges filed against South Africa hunter over ivory import," 22 May 2018 But instead of hunting her down, 56-year-old Dwight Lamon Jones fatally shot six people in a Scottsdale-area killing spree that spanned from May 31 to June 4. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Dateline interview with ex-wife of Scottsdale-area shooter to air Friday," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Crusaders should be back in the hunt this winter with Duncomb and fellow juniors Alex Williams and Will McCracken back as well as senior Max Land, who's in his third year on varsity. Scott Springer,, "Logan Duncomb following footsteps of past Moeller basketball big men with Division I offers," 17 June 2019 Get our daily newsletter Their surge reflects investors’ continuing hunt for yield. The Economist, "Buy-out firms are the new banks in emerging markets," 14 June 2019 Martinez now walks on prosthetic legs, drives an adapted car, hunts and now surfs. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Nation’s adaptive surfers have eyes on 2024 Paralympics," 14 June 2019 Census takers are getting a jump-start in remote areas because many tribal members move to seasonally hunt and fish. Dana Hedgpeth, Anchorage Daily News, "Census and tribal leaders push for Native American participation in 2020 census," 14 June 2019 Also, if these dogs got injured when helping humans hunt, people probably tended to their wounds. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "This diseased spine may hold clues to early dog-human relationship," 14 June 2019 Porchia Green and DeAndre Brock helm the basketball programs at Howe High School and hunt for wins. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "DeAndre Brock didn't get his Warren Central dream job, but he's fully committed to Howe," 13 June 2019 The Bears’ hunt to find a reliable kicker this offseason has been a very bumpy road. Dan Wiederer,, "5 things we learned on the final day of Bears minicamp, including a motivated Akiem Hicks and a healthy Kyle Long," 13 June 2019 Capture the sun rising above the crater wall, and zoom in on flocks of flamingos, bathing hippos, large herds of zebras, prancing antelope, elusive rhinos, and lions resting up for the nighttime hunt. National Geographic, "Tanzania High School Photography Workshop," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for hunt

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hunt

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

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More Definitions for hunt



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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More from Merriam-Webster on hunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hunt

Spanish Central: Translation of hunt

Nglish: Translation of hunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hunt

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showing courage and determination

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