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verb (used without object), hud·dled, hud·dling.
  1. to gather or crowd together in a close mass.
  2. to crouch, curl up, or draw oneself together.
  3. Football. to get together in a huddle.
  4. to confer or consult; meet to discuss, exchange ideas, or make a decision.
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verb (used with object), hud·dled, hud·dling.
  1. to heap or crowd together closely.
  2. to draw (oneself) closely together, as in crouching; nestle (often followed by up).
  3. Chiefly British. to do hastily and carelessly (often followed by up, over, or together).
  4. to put on (clothes) with careless haste (often followed by on).
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  1. a closely gathered group, mass, or heap; bunch.
  2. Football. a gathering of the offensive team in a close circle or line behind the line of scrimmage for instructions, signals, etc., from the team captain or quarterback, usually held before each offensive play.
  3. a conference, or consultation, especially a private meeting to discuss serious matters: The labor representatives have been in a huddle for two hours.
  4. confusion or disorder.
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Origin of huddle

1570–80; hud- (weak grade of root found in hide1) + -le; replacing Middle English hoder, equivalent to hod- (variant hud-) + -er -er6
Related formshud·dler, nounhud·dling·ly, adverbun·hud·dle, verb (used with object), un·hud·dled, un·hud·dling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for huddle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And if I huddle up what happened, excitement also shares the blame.

    Crocker's Hole

    R. D. Blackmore

  • We tried to grip each other, but in the huddle we were thrust apart.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • They huddle indoors instead of keeping vigorous with exercise.

  • Do not huddle all your men together in a small trench like sheep in a pen.

    The Defence of Duffer's Drift

    Ernest Dunlop Swinton

  • Without even a premonitory shout a pony bolted for us, from their huddle.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

British Dictionary definitions for huddle


  1. a heaped or crowded mass of people or things
  2. informal a private or impromptu conference (esp in the phrase go into a huddle)
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  1. to crowd or cause to crowd or nestle closely together
  2. (often foll by up) to draw or hunch (oneself), as through cold
  3. (intr) informal to meet and confer privately
  4. (tr) mainly British to do (something) in a careless way
  5. (tr) rare to put on (clothes) hurriedly
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Derived Formshuddler, noun

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin; compare Middle English hoderen to wrap up
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

Word Origin and History for huddle


1570s, "to heap or crowd together," probably from Low German hudern "to cover, to shelter," from Middle Low German huden "to cover up," from Proto-Germanic *hud- (see hide (v.)). Cf. also Middle English hoderen "heap together, huddle" (c.1300). Related: Huddled; huddling. The noun is from 1580s. U.S. football sense is from 1928.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with huddle


see go into a huddle.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.