Definition of hunch in English:

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Pronunciation: /hən(t)SH/


[with object]
1Raise (one’s shoulders) and bend the top of one’s body forward: he thrust his hands in his pockets, hunching his shoulders [no object]: he hunched over his glass
More example sentences
  • Don't bring the leg in so far it bends or hunch your shoulders; this stresses the hamstrings and the spine and neck.
  • His shoulders were hunched over and his eyes tried to stay open.
  • I smile, appeased and amused, when I realize that he's actually ducking, and his broad shoulders are hunched over.
arch, curve, hump, bend, bow
crouch, huddle, curl;
hunker down, bend, stoop, slouch, squat, duck
1.1 [no object] Bend one’s body into a huddled position: I hunched up as small as I could
More example sentences
  • I hunched up my body and put the towel over my self in protection.
  • Unable to stand it, he hunched over completely, forehead touching the surface of the altar as he fought to control his cries of anguish.
  • The beady eyes of the swarthy man focused on his like a snake upon its prey, and he hunched up, balling his fists, his body lean and ornery.
1.2Shove or push; nudge: she hunched me and winked


1A feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts: she was acting on a hunch
More example sentences
  • It is only where the decision is clearly random, or based on a hunch or prejudice, that the officer's action is likely to be regarded as unreasonable.
  • Based on a hunch, the lawyer asked if the widow had been born a woman.
  • Drake and Emily thought it was lunchtime, based on vague hunches and guessing, but mostly on the fact that they were hungry.
feeling, feeling in one's bones, guess, suspicion, impression, conjecture, inkling, idea, sense, notion, fancy, intuition, premonition, presentiment
informal gut feeling, gut instinct
2A humped position or thing: the hunch of his back
More example sentences
  • This first hunch when done correctly will put you in a butterfly position and will utilize the large latissimus muscles of the back.
protuberance, hump, lump, bump, knob, protrusion, prominence, bulge, swelling;
growth, outgrowth
3chiefly dialect A thick piece; a hunk: a hunch of bread
More example sentences
  • She blew a kiss to Wolf, called him little robber, and slid a wooden platter between the bars of the cage: two steaming lumps of goat's flesh, with a hunch of bread and a flask of wine.


Late 15th century: of unknown origin. The original meaning was 'push, shove' (noun and verb), a sense retained now in Scots as a noun, and in US dialect as a verb. Sense 1 of the noun probably derives from the sense 'nudge someone in order to draw attention to something'.

Words that rhyme with hunch

brunch, bunch, crunch, lunch, munch, punch, scrunch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hunch

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