View synonyms for bear hug

bear hug



  1. a strong, tight embrace:

    My father gave me a big bear hug as soon as I stepped out of the taxi.

  2. Wrestling. a hold in which one contestant locks both arms around the other in order to make the opponent fall to the mat.



[ bair-huhg ]

verb (used with object)

, bear-hugged, bear-hug·ging.
  1. to greet with or hold in a bear hug:

    eager fans bear-hugging the victorious team.

bear hug


  1. a wrestling hold in which the arms are locked tightly round an opponent's chest and arms
  2. any similar tight embrace
  3. 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 History and Origins

Origin of bear hug1

First recorded in 1920–25

Origin of bear hug2

First recorded in 1955–60
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Example Sentences

Where many plush slippers tend to feel like clown shoes, these fit snugly, like a bear hug for your feet.

Go big with a large massage chair that feels like a bear hug, or keep it simple with a heated massage recliner disguised as a typical piece of living room furniture.

One plaintiff, William Jarta Hall, says he was on Bladensburg Road NE on a fall afternoon in 2015 when Onoja pulled up on his bicycle, wrapped him in a bear hug and threw him down on the sidewalk.

When he came on set he would pick up every woman and give them a big bear hug in the morning.

Bonus: BFF Billy Crystal, who hosted that year, giving Williams a big bear hug as he exited, trophy in hand, to the wings.

Then Cathy sweeps Cannistraci literally off her feet in a bear hug.

Pull your lover close for a bear hug in the middle of a passionate kiss.

As he reached for it, the feared Soviet leader gave Susskind a playful bear hug.

Away went Marjorie, after bestowing another tumultuous bear-hug on her mother.

Dear Davy, I wish you were here to-night, to catch me up in that great bear hug of yours.

If Charles stepped inside it, the man would grab him in a bear hug and knife him in the back.

"You know we care to go," laughed Mary Jane and she jumped up and gave him a big bear hug.

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





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