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[huhnch] /hʌntʃ/
verb (used with object)
to thrust out or up in a hump; arch:
to hunch one's back.
to shove, push, or jostle.
verb (used without object)
to thrust oneself forward jerkily; lunge forward.
to stand, sit, or walk in a bent posture.
a premonition or suspicion; guess:
I have a hunch he'll run for reelection.
a hump.
a push or shove.
a lump or thick piece.
Origin of hunch
1590-1600; 1900-05 for def 5; apparently variant of obsolete hinch to push, shove, kick < ?
Can be confused
haunch, hunch.
5. surmise, feeling, theory, conjecture. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hunching
Historical Examples
  • Keep the head down—tight with the left—no hunching—pivot on the hips.

    Ade's Fables George Ade
  • A little, whispering, hunching stir went through the courtroom.

    Back Home Irvin S. Cobb
  • Presently they sought their blankets, leaving Gulden hunching there silent in the gloom.

    The Border Legion Zane Grey
  • Then hunching his shoulders, turned inland, and took the field path.

    Lady Cassandra Mrs George de Horne Vaizey
  • He shook Farrell off—as it were—with a hunching movement of the shoulder, and turned to me.

    Foe-Farrell Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • "Ask him," said Ben Weatherstaff, hunching his shoulders toward the robin.

    The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Pender hesitated a moment for words, casting about with his hands in the air and hunching his shoulders.

  • Meanwhile, there was Elmer hunching his way along the hall toward the moving object in white that had so mystified them.

  • I felt that familiar tightening behind my eyes, that familiar tensing and hunching of my shoulders.

    Cue for Quiet Thomas L. Sherred
  • He sat forward, warming his palms at the blaze and hunching his shoulders as though there were a draft.

British Dictionary definitions for hunching


an intuitive guess or feeling
another word for hump
a lump or large piece
to bend or draw (oneself or a part of the body) up or together
(intransitive) usually foll by up. to sit in a hunched position
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
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 hunching


originally (c.1500) a verb, "to push, thrust," of unknown origin. Meaning "raise or bend into a hump" is 1670s. Perhaps a variant of bunch. The noun is attested from 1620s, originally "a push, thrust." Figurative sense of "hint, tip" (a "push" toward a solution or answer), first recorded 1849, led to that of "premonition, presentiment" (1904).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hunching



: This was too good a hunch play to let drop


An intuitive premonition; a shrewd idea or notion: I gotta hunch she won't come back


: As I hunch it, the answer is triple

[1904+; said to be fr a gamblers' belief that touching a hunchback's hump would bring good luck]

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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