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[bair-huhg] /ˈbɛərˌhʌg/
verb (used with object), bear-hugged, bear-hugging.
to greet with or hold in a bear hug:
eager fans bear-hugging the victorious team.
Origin of bear-hug
First recorded in 1955-60

bear hug

a forcefully or heartily tight embrace.
Wrestling. a hold in which one contestant locks both arms around the other from the front in order to make the opponent fall backward.
First recorded in 1920-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bear-hug
Historical Examples
  • She was roused by Helen Barrett's bear-hug of congratulations.

    Wanted: A Husband Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Mike grabbed him and lifted him in a bear-hug, scratching himself unmercifully on the little Martian's sharp scales.

    Before Egypt E. K. Jarvis
  • Although for months he had been expecting just such news Ulick couldn't repress a long whistle; then he gave her a bear-hug.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • A great, happy "bear-hug" almost choked him, as Phil's arms were clasped about his neck.

    The Story of Dago Annie Fellows-Johnston
  • Frederick Augustus came running into my room and gave me a bear-hug.

  • Marguerite gave Rose a bear-hug and soon Stubby saw them coming across the lawn.

British Dictionary definitions for bear-hug

bear hug

a wrestling hold in which the arms are locked tightly round an opponent's chest and arms
any similar tight embrace
(commerce) an approach to the board of one company by another to indicate that an offer is to be made for their shares
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bear-hug

bear hug


1876, from bear (n.) + hug (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bear-hug

bear hug

noun phrase

  1. A crushing embrace (1930s+)
  2. A takeover bid so enticing that directors are forced to accept it (1970s+ Business)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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