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[hawnch, hahnch] /hɔntʃ, hɑntʃ/
the hip.
the fleshy part of the body about the hip.
a hindquarter of an animal.
the leg and loin of an animal, used for food.
  1. either side of an arch, extending from the vertex or crown to the impost.
  2. the part of a beam projecting below a floor or roof slab.
Origin of haunch
1150-1200; Middle English haunche < Old French hanche < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch hanke haunch, hip, German Hanke haunch
Related forms
haunched, adjective
haunchless, adjective
Can be confused
haunch, hunch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for haunched
Historical Examples
  • This type of tenon is often used at the corner of a frame, and it then requires to be haunched.

    Woodwork Joints William Fairham
  • A haunched Tenon as used at the end of a door frame is shown at Fig. 130.

    Woodwork Joints William Fairham
  • Men and women were haunched about the fire, above which simmered several pots with the savory odor of cooking meat.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • haunched around the fires, the forlorn Indians looked and listened and shook their unkempt heads.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • A more complex centering is required where the slab has to be haunched around the I-beams.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Robert dropped into the first chair, and sat therein, haunched up as in a lapse of despair and weariness.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Between the two is a marble-topped console, with haunched gilt legs ending in sphinx claws.

    The Doctor's Dilemma George Bernard Shaw
  • A haunched mortise-and-tenon is made by cutting away part of the tenon so that that part of it will be much shorter than the rest.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for haunched


the human hip or fleshy hindquarter of an animal, esp a horse or similar quadruped
the leg and loin of an animal, used for food: a haunch of venison
(architect) Also called hance. the part of an arch between the impost and the apex
Derived Forms
haunched, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French hanche; related to Spanish, Italian anca, of Germanic origin; compare Low German hanke
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 haunched



early 13c., from Old French hanche (12c.) "hip, thigh; haunch," from a Germanic source, perhaps Frankish *hanka (cf. Old High German hinkan "to limp," ancha "leg," literally "joint;" Middle Dutch hanke "haunch"). "It is only since the 18th c. that the spelling haunch has displaced hanch" [OED]. Related: Haunches.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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