Definition of hunt in English:

hunt

Syllabification: hunt
Pronunciation: /hənt
 
/

verb

1 [with object] Pursue and kill (a wild animal) for sport or food: in the autumn they hunted deer [no object]: they hunted and fished
More example sentences
  • Some northern species of squirrels are hunted for their soft, thick fur, and many of the larger species are hunted for food.
  • Smaller animals such as raccoons, squirrels and rabbits are also hunted for sport.
  • Tapirs have been extensively hunted for food and sport in some areas, although some Indian tribes refuse to kill tapirs for religious reasons.
Synonyms
chase, stalk, pursue, course, run down; track, trail, follow, hound, shadow; predate
informal tail
1.1(Of an animal) chase and kill (its prey): mice are hunted by weasels and foxes [no object]: lionesses hunt in groups
More example sentences
  • Death hunted the people as the tiger hunts the prey.
  • Smaller prey such as beavers, rabbits, and other small mammals are usually hunted by lone wolves, and they are a substantial part of their diet.
  • Few crustaceans hunt prey as a lion or a tiger does, but the mantis shrimp visually selects and stalks its victim.
1.2 [no object] Try to find someone or something by searching carefully: he desperately hunted for a new job
More example sentences
  • Private adoption agencies' touts hunted for vulnerable, expectant families who already had one or two daughters.
  • Youngsters enjoyed a lucky dip, face-painting and a treasure hunt, while parents hunted for bargains and stocked up on delicious homebaked cakes.
  • Upon our return to America, I hunted for English collections of Bulgarian tales, eager to share them with friends.
Synonyms
search for, look for, look high and low for, scour the area for, sweep the area for, comb the area for; seek, try to find; scout around, rummage around/about, root around/about, fish around/about
1.3 (hunt something out/up) Search for something until it is found.
More example sentences
  • ‘You can hunt them out in the men's departments of major chain stores,’ advises Sally.
  • As I've been saying for a long time, a good service with a good selection and reasonable permissions will make it easier to buy music legally than to hunt it up and download a copy of unknown quality for free.
  • Collectors will probably have bought this book anyway, and if they haven't they should hunt it out.
1.4 [with object] (Of the police) search for (a criminal): the gang is being hunted by police [no object]: police are hunting for her attacker
More example sentences
  • An armed gang is being hunted by police after launching a series of attacks on town centre shops before speeding off in a getaway car.
  • Police hunting the thugs who pushed a wheelchair-bound youngster into the road admitted today their search had ‘hit a dead end’.
  • Police are now hunting the thugs behind the attacks.
1.5 (hunt someone down) Pursue and capture someone.
More example sentences
  • Nathan was probably on a frantic search to hunt me down and the quieter and in the dark I kept the better.
  • It was the one where he had been hunted down and captured.
  • Now is the time to do the right thing before you cross the line, because if you do hurt her, you will be hunted down like the coward you are, and you'll pay.
2 [no object] (Of a machine, instrument needle, or system) oscillate around a desired speed, position, or state.
More example sentences
  • In one aborted poem I explored the feeling by examining the way a tuning circuit hunts up and down its scale to locate and fix on a signal.
2.1(Of an aircraft or rocket) oscillate around a mean flight path.
2.2(Of an automatic transmission in a motor vehicle) keep shifting between gears because of improperly designed shift logic.
3 [no object] (hunt down/up) (In change-ringing) move the place of a bell in a simple progression.

noun

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1An act of hunting wild animals or game.
More example sentences
  • Guided big game hunts are also sometimes offered.
  • Such holidays occur after good hunts or when large game animals, such as an elephant or a wild pig, have been captured.
  • An annual hunt of roughly 20 animals per year was inaugurated in 1929 to supply meat to local missions and hospitals.
Synonyms
1.1An association of people who meet regularly to hunt, especially with hounds.
More example sentences
  • Hundreds of packs of fox hounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs are planning to meet on Saturday, the day after the ban comes into force.
  • If it is banned, have the opponents thought about the future of activities such as point-to-points, pony clubs and agricultural shows regularly sponsored by local hunts?
  • ‘In Scotland, it has made a big impact on the foxes,’ she said, of a piece of legislation that allows hunts to use hounds to flush out foxes, but not to kill them.
1.2An area where hunting takes place.
1.3A search: police launched a hunt for the killer
More example sentences
  • Detectives launched a hunt for the Leeds University student involving underwater search teams, mounted officers and sniffer dogs.
  • A senior detective who led the hunt for two armed robbers behind a series of terrifying raids across Bradford today told of the desperate race against time to catch them before someone was shot.
  • Eastern Division detectives yesterday intensified the hunt for a woman in her mid-20s, who is believed to be part of an extortion ring.
Synonyms
2An oscillating motion around a desired speed, position, or state.

Origin

Old English huntian, of Germanic origin. The sense in change-ringing dates from the late 17th century, and is probably based on the idea of the bells pursuing one another; it gave rise to the sense 'oscillate around a desired speed' (late 19th century).

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