\ 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

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 Luckily, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a crack team of meteorologists that fly not near a hurricane, but right into the damn thing with a repurposed submarine-hunting aircraft. Wired, "Meet a Mad Scientist Who Flies Into Hurricanes," 13 Sep. 2019 The Indians play the Minnesota Twins next and finish the season against the wild-card-hunting Washington Nationals. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics win thriller in Houston, take tough series 3-1 and top wild card spot for now," 12 Sep. 2019 After his stint as Elena’s vampire-hunting younger brother, McQueen — the grandson and namesake of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen — took up roles on Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire as Jimmy Borelli from 2015-2016. Sophie Dodd,, "The Cast of Vampire Diaries: Where Are They Now?," 10 Sep. 2019 After all, Walmart was already on this path by refusing to sell assault weapons, and the company will still sell hunting rifles. Rosabeth Moss Kanter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Walmart CEO's decision on guns is the kind of corporate courage we need," 6 Sep. 2019 As spied by the deal-hunting Twitter account Wario64 last week, the site accidentally revealed a new Switch carrying case smothered in Overwatch logos (along with a detailed zipper pull shaped like a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Nintendo Switch will finally get SNES games—20 of them—starting tomorrow," 4 Sep. 2019 Lee explains that equipment and accessories left over from these hunting expeditions consist of the majority of their finds. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Climate change is bad for the planet, but groundbreaking for archaeology," 30 Aug. 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now The bug-hunting hackers at Google reported the issue to Apple on Feb. 1 and, less than a week later, Apple updated its operating systems. Ali Ingersoll / Bloomberg, Time, "Google Researchers Found an Extremely Nasty iPhone Security Flaw," 30 Aug. 2019 Mr Masisi has ditched flagship policies of Mr Khama’s, like the hunting ban. The Economist, "The battle of Botswana’s big men," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Conquests in Mexico by Hernan Cortés in 1521 and in Peru by Francisco Pizarro between 1531 and 1534 had also produced an insatiable lust for gold that fueled the treasure hunt in the New World. al, "Slaves arrived in America, and Alabama, years before 1619," 23 Aug. 2019 Linebacker Blake Cashman learned of his scholarship by opening up a plastic egg after an Easter hunt in spring 2017. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers receiver Clay Geary learns at Twins game he’s on scholarship," 7 Aug. 2019 There will be many auction items, among them a dove hunt in Argentina, a 90-minute helicopter tour to view the Houston skyline and lots and lots of unique sports memorabilia. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Cody Stephens Foundation Big Event to take place on Aug. 17," 5 Aug. 2019 Houston has been rumored to be on the hunt for a starting pitcher, and Bumgarner has the best postseason track record of any starter on the market. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Bumgarner to Astros? Report says Giants ‘engaged’ with Houston," 30 July 2019 The activities on the agenda include a treasure hunt and a bug-spotting activity before the picnic begins in the middle of the garden. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears a Green Sandro Dress and Espadrilles for a Garden Picnic," 1 July 2019 This year’s showcase featured six short scenes, which involved the magical healing powers of abuelas (grandmothers), a demon Realtor helping Adam and Eve apartment hunt in Sodom and a woman struggling with her identity after motherhood. Carlos De Loera,, "From Vaporú to coming out, NHMC amplifies an array of Latinx voices," 27 June 2019 Grinnell also used the pages of the journal to advocate for the nation’s indigenous peoples, whose history and culture had captivated him ever since his participation in a Pawnee bison hunt in Kansas in the summer of 1872. Andrew R. Graybill, WSJ, "‘Grinnell’ Review: The Western Establishment," 14 June 2019 The first Wisconsin spring turkey hunt in the modern era was held in 1983. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spring turkey hunters register 38,556 birds, second lowest in 20 years," 8 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

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for hunt

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on hunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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a calculated move

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