\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for hunt

Synonyms: Verb

chase, stalk

Synonyms: Noun

quest, search

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Silence, Netflix, April 10 Netflix's answer to A Quiet Place is a new horror thriller set in a world in which evil creatures hunt their prey via sound. Vogue, "9 Things to Watch in April on Netflix, HBO and More," 29 Mar. 2019 This finding should be of interest to NASA, which is developing a lander mission that will hunt for signs of life on the 1,900-mile-wide (3,100 kilometers) satellite. Mike Wall,, "Jupiter Moon Europa's Jagged Ice Towers Could Imperil Robot Landers," 8 Oct. 2018 Tester’s campaign, responding to an inquiry from Fox News, denied that the candidate has portrayed himself as someone who frequently hunts. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Dem Sen. Tester campaigns on love of hunting, hasn't had license in 6 years," 18 Sep. 2018 In 1998, Ohioans were asked to weigh in on whether mourning doves should be categorized as game birds and hunted. Jessie Balmert,, "Dialysis to duels: Why Ohio keeps voting on odd, complicated ballot issues," 5 July 2018 Weyiouanna turned the bear back toward the hunting client, who shot it. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Alaska guide pleads guilty to herding bears toward clients," 8 Jan. 2019 Civilians can own only hunting rifles and smoothbore firearms and must undergo significant background checks for those. Matthew Bodner And Angela Charlton, Fox News, "Misfire: Maria Butina's strange route from Russia to US jail," 10 Sep. 2018 The Last Jedi picks up where 2015’s The Force Awakens left off, with Rey hunting down the reclusive Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in an effort to swing the power balance of a war between the evil First Order and the heroic Resistance. Scott Meslow, GQ, "The Last Jedi (AKA the Second-Best Star Wars Movie) Is Now on Netflix," 26 June 2018 While the current border debate centers on immigration, this story highlighted the shrewdness of smugglers and the customs agents hunting them. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fueled by a cautious shift from the world’s central banks and easing fears over global trade, portfolio managers are snapping up everything from Chinese equities to the Chilean peso in a world-wide hunt for yield. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Money Pours Into Russia, China, Uzbekistan as Markets Roar Back," 5 Mar. 2019 Three people, including an English journalist and Russian bomber pilot, embark on a hunt to find her. Angela Haupt, The Seattle Times, "The 10 books to read in 2019 based on what you loved in 2018," 7 Jan. 2019 Booker is still on the hunt for a campaign manager, and so far the shortlist has included mostly men. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "2020 Democratic hopefuls are under pressure to build diverse teams," 29 Dec. 2018 On the hunt for a new book to take your mind off the end of summer? Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Five Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in September," 5 Sep. 2018 Italian police are on the hunt for two English-speaking tourists who went skinny-dipping in an ancient memorial fountain in Rome. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Italian tourists skinny-dipping in ancient Roman fountain spark outrage: 'Italy is not their home bathroom'," 23 Aug. 2018 Marshall's has long been a staple for those who love treasure hunt shopping. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Marshall’s Is Opening an Online Store Before the End of the Year," 11 Mar. 2019 Though their house hunt began just before the holiday season on the west side of California, reports from E! Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Are Reportedly Mansion Shopping in California," 7 Feb. 2019 Despite initial reports suggesting that only the male members of the royal family—including Prince William, Prince Harry, and Prince Philip—went on the traditional Boxing Day hunt this year, it's now been revealed that Kate Middleton also joined in. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Went Hunting on Boxing Day, but Meghan Markle Gave It a Hard Pass," 31 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hunt

Dictionary Entries near hunt








Statistics for hunt

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hunt

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up hunt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!