hunt·​er-gath·​er·​er ˈhən-tər-ˈga-t͟hər-ər How to pronounce hunter-gatherer (audio)
: a member of a culture in which food is obtained by hunting, fishing, and foraging rather than by agriculture or animal husbandry

Examples of hunter-gatherer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Arguably, the authors write, prehistoric hunter-gatherers would have learned information from tracks that aided their survival. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Sep. 2023 Beyond just the Arctic, pre-Modern hunter-gatherer societies depended on a degree of self-sufficiency and communal interdependence that might prove to be a more sustainable, enduring model for human life than the one we’re currently engaged in. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2023 And while diverging sleep schedules may seem like a modern problem, other researchers have speculated that chronotypes may have actually evolved in hunter-gatherers to help keep constant watch over the home. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 28 Aug. 2023 Before this find, most scientists believed that our hunter-gatherer ancestors settled around 10,000 years ago, at the dawn of the Neolithic age, to start cultivating crops and using wheat to make bread. Yulia Denisyuk, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Aug. 2023 The paper says that hunter-gatherer communities lived on in these landscapes well into the neolithic period and sustained themselves on fish and other resources from waterways. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 14 Aug. 2023 Anatolia farmers, western hunter-gatherers, and eastern herders. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 17 Aug. 2023 Most Europeans today have a mix of genes from three groups: farmers from Anatolia, hunter-gatherers from the west and herders from the east. CBS News, 16 Aug. 2023 Ötzi’s genes show little mixing with the hunter-gatherer populations already living in Europe during that time, suggesting that his community was small and relatively isolated in their beautiful but remote alpine environment. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hunter-gatherer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hunter-gatherer was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near hunter-gatherer

Cite this Entry

“Hunter-gatherer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a member of a culture in which food is gotten by hunting, fishing, and gathering rather than by agriculture

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