\ 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

But the wild nature of the second half tested the Orlando City defense, which was often left vulnerable as the Lions pushed forward to hunt for goals. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution," 17 Sep. 2019 In the Danny Phantom series, a lab accident turns Danny Fenton into a ghost-hunting superhero named Danny Phantom. Essence, "Six Things To Know About '13 Reasons Why' Star Alisha Boe," 23 Aug. 2019 Economic impact The number of licenses sold for Michigan’s firearm deer-hunting season in 2018 was down to 621,000 from a high of 785,000 deer hunters in 1998, a nearly 21% reduction. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Proposed legislation boosts funding for Michigan conservation efforts," 28 June 2019 Other attractions included the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center offering an exhibit featuring falcons, hawks and owls along with a collection of feathers, bird bones and hunting gear. David Sharos, Aurora Beacon-News, "Fermilab fair gives children hands-on introduction to environment," 9 June 2019 The Northern Illinois Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center, along with local raptor trainers, will be on hand with live hawks, falcons and owls, a collection of bird bones, feathers and hunting gear. Michelle Mullins, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin News Digest," 7 June 2019 Drugmakers Go Shopping In addition to researching therapies, the pharmaceutical giants are hunting for assets to buy. Riley Griffin,, "Intercept Tries to Outrun Pharma in Race for the Next Blockbuster," 10 Apr. 2019 And within a few years, so will HIRAX: an array of dishes in South Africa, Botswana and Rwanda that will hunt FRBs in an environment free from ambient radio signals. Quanta Magazine, "With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation," 28 Feb. 2019 The rule does not prohibit legal hunting of predatory or fur-bearing animals, and Arizona still has no bag limit for coyotes, one of the most common animals hunted in the contests. Andrew Howard, azcentral, "Arizona will ban hunting contests, which opponents call 'indiscriminate slaughter'," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

People who use the forest hunt animals to a great extent, take part in logging activities, and deforest the forest to make way for pastures. Benki Pyãnko, Time, "'It Is Our Very Governments Who Are Killing the Earth.' A Brazilian Indigenous Leader Speaks Out On Deforestation in the Amazon," 13 Sep. 2019 MTV India is currently airing hip-hop talent hunt Hustle, while earlier this year Red Bull changed its annual band competition Spotlight into a rap battle. Amit Gurbaxani, Billboard, "Hindi Rapper Divine On Why He Signed With Mass Appeal India: 'It's Nas, Bro'," 13 Sep. 2019 Considering all the injuries and inconsistency, Stearns obviously is pleased that the team still is in the hunt not only for a wild-card spot but a second straight division title with 16 games left. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers, Christian Yelich breathe sigh of relief: No surgery necessary for the reigning MVP," 12 Sep. 2019 All three species look pretty much the same externally and use their electricity to navigate, communicate, hunt and for self-defense. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Newly identified electric eel is the most powerful ever found, say scientists," 11 Sep. 2019 Hardware hackers work to understand devices better and hunt for flaws by buying different IoT devices, physically connecting to them with different sensors and tools, and assessing how those systems fit together. Wired, "It's Time for IoT Security's Next Big Step," 11 Sep. 2019 There will be a canine costume contest and doggy egg hunt. Annie Alleman,, "Northwest suburban fall, Halloween events abound," 10 Sep. 2019 With fall whaling officially in motion, other communities that participate in the seasonal hunt will ready their gear and head out to the water in the hopes of bringing in a bounty of their own. Shady Grove Oliver, Anchorage Daily News, "Nuiqsut and Kaktovik crews land whales as fall hunt begins on North Slope," 4 Sep. 2019 Enjoy hayrides, caramel apple hunts for free apples, picking your own apples, seeing honeybees make honey, the Tractor Town Adventure Farm Area and more. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "These are the 22 best things to do with kids around Indianapolis in September," 3 Sep. 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.

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

10 Oct 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).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!