hyg·​ge | \ ˈhyü-gə How to pronounce hygge (audio) , ˈhü- How to pronounce hygge (audio) , ˈhu̇- How to pronounce hygge (audio) \

Definition of hygge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a cozy quality that makes a person feel content and comfortable During the long, dark winters when Danes retreat inside their homes, hygge is what brings them a great sense of comfort and joy.— Mary Holland "I believe now—in the midst of this pandemic—is the perfect time for people to embody hygge by focusing on the present moment, spending quality time with people who make them happy, and ultimately finding peace," [Christine] Christensen said in an email.— Courtney Kueppers And after the recent trend of cozy, comforting hygge, there's another Scandinavian state of mind to embrace.— Leanne Italie



Definition of hygge (Entry 2 of 2)

: invoking or fostering a sense of coziness, contentment, and well-being … a hygge Christmas dinner setting needs only essential tableware, beloved family ornaments and a few tasteful sprigs of greenery.— Francesca Brown To live the hygge way, focus on friendship, wholesomeness, and happiness.— Hannah Bruneman "… people are at home all the time. People will realize cozy is better than stark. It's all about the hygge trend."— Jonathan Adler

First Known Use of hygge


1960, in the meaning defined above


1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hygge


borrowed from Danish, "comfort, coziness," borrowed from Norwegian hygge (Bokmål), hyggje (Nynorsk), probably noun derivative of hygge (Bokmål), hyggje (Nynorsk) "to make comfortable," also regionally "to notice, understand, take care of, be fond of," going back to an Old Norwegian equivalent of Old Icelandic hyggja "to think, believe," going back to Germanic *hugjan- (whence also Old English hycgan "to think, meditate, consider," Old Frisian hugia "to be recalled," Old Saxon huggian "to think [of], be mindful of, consider, plan," Old High German huggen "to think, have in mind, be mindful of," Gothic hugjan "to be of a [specified] state of mind"), noun derivative of *hugi- "mind" (whence Old English hyge "mind, thought, intention," Old Frisian hei "mind," Old Saxon hugi "thought, mind, intention," Old High German hugu "mind, understanding," Old Norse hugr "mind, heart, wish," Gothic hugs "mind"), of uncertain origin


from attributive use of hygge entry 1

Learn More About hygge

Dictionary Entries Near hygge




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hygge

Cite this Entry

“Hygge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hygge. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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