\ 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 And since Microsoft publishes all of its major games (and offers Xbox Game Pass) on PC, a good gaming rig obviates the need to hunt down an Xbox Series X for playing the latest Gears, Halo and Forza games. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "Why you should get into PC gaming — and where to start," 5 Jan. 2021 The most effective way to kill a giant whitetail is to pattern him on trail camera and hunt him to the exclusion of all others. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "10 Lessons from the 2020 Deer Season," 5 Jan. 2021 Lindsey Roberts spoke with color experts, paint company representatives and interior designers to hunt down those timeless colors. Washington Post, "Cleaning, decluttering, victory gardens: The most-read home and garden stories of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Repeat at will, laughing maniacally between stabs until the authorities hunt you down. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, "Tested: BFP 2019 Ford Mustang GT Delivers Budget Performance," 23 Dec. 2020 Very physical players at the second level at the linebacker position, guys that will hunt you down that have a nose for the football, that are instinctive, that really understand their fits. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "What Mario Cristobal said about Oregon Ducks playing Iowa State in Fiesta Bowl," 20 Dec. 2020 What started out as a nuclear-capable missile can now hunt down warships at 1,000 miles and attack hardened underground targets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Not Your Father’s Tomahawk Cruise Missile," 15 Dec. 2020 Here’s how to hunt them By rural Kansas standards, Charlie Braun’s 8-point probably would not have turned many heads. Gerry Bethge, Outdoor Life, "Deer That Never Encounter Humans: How to Shoot a Reclusive Buck," 14 Dec. 2020 Airbnb rolled out new safety policies and risk-detection technology to hunt down nuisance listings. Olivia Carville,, "Airbnb Combats Surge in Party Houses After Covid Shuts Nightclubs," 14 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Parents, many of whom are consumed by the hunt for employment and a stable home, are often unable to advocate for their children, or to devote time, attention and resources to their learning. Washington Post, "What it’s like to learn online from inside a homeless shelter," 4 Jan. 2021 The Dallas Cowboys have won three consecutive games to propel themselves back into the hunt for the NFC East crown. oregonlive, "Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants FREE LIVE STREAM (1/3/2021) score updates, odds, time, TV channel, how to watch online," 3 Jan. 2021 Word of the weekslong hunt for Gizmo, the 7-year-old llama who absconded on Dec. 13, had already ricocheted around the town, the state and far beyond. New York Times, "Infrared Drones, Search Parties and a Lasso: Chasing a Runaway Llama," 1 Jan. 2021 And the other was really the hunt for the leadership. CBS News, "Former senior CIA officer recalls killing of service members by suicide bomber," 30 Dec. 2020 Crazy Cazboy’s, the retail treasure hunt that began two years ago in the Birmingham metro area, is expanding in two places at the beginning of 2021. William Thornton |, al, "Crazy Cazboy’s expanding in Alabama, Texas," 28 Dec. 2020 The Cowboys remained very much alive in that hunt — crazy as that sounds for a 6-9 team that was 3-9 three weeks ago — with a 37-17 thrashing of Philadelphia while Washington was losing at home to Carolina. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Andy Dalton’s no Dak Prescott, but the Cowboys’ unconventional decision to sign him is paying off in 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 Baltimore's fourth straight victory, combined with Pittsburgh's win over Indianapolis, lifted the Ravens past the Colts in the AFC wild-card hunt. David Ginsburg, ajc, "Torrid Ravens get jump on Giants, roll to easy 27-13 victory," 27 Dec. 2020 During the hunt, and before the kill, Milam confronted Jake three times about being a game warden. Hal Herring, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: Takedown," 27 Dec. 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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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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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