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See more synonyms for hug on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), hugged, hug·ging.
  1. to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace.
  2. to cling firmly or fondly to; cherish: to hug an opinion.
  3. to keep close to, as in sailing, walking, or in moving along or alongside of: to hug the shore; to hug the road.
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verb (used without object), hugged, hug·ging.
  1. to cling together; lie close.
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  1. a tight clasp with the arms; embrace.
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Origin of hug

1560–70; perhaps < Old Norse hugga to soothe, console; akin to Old English hogian to care for
Related formshug·ger, nounhug·ging·ly, adverbun·hugged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for hug

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And then Mike came tearing up and gave him a hug and a pat on the back.

  • If he be the man I take him for, he must hug an obstacle to his heart as a Heaven-sent gift.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

  • Should they not hug their pillow as the friend of their bosom?

    Arthur O'Leary

    Charles James Lever

  • He became greatly alarmed, and got rid of his sister's hug definitely.

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • I wish I could hug you all—but it would muss you dreadfully.


    Jane Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for hug


verb hugs, hugging or hugged (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to clasp (another person or thing) tightly or (of two people) to cling close together; embrace
  2. to keep close to a shore, kerb, etc
  3. to cling to (beliefs, etc); cherish
  4. to congratulate (oneself); be delighted with (oneself)
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  1. a tight or fond embrace
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Derived Formshuggable, adjectivehugger, noun

Word Origin

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hugga to comfort, Old English hogian to take care of
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 hug


1560s, hugge "to embrace," of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Norse hugga "to comfort," from hugr "courage, mood," from Proto-Germanic *hugjan, related to Old English hycgan "to think, consider," Gothic hugs "mind, soul, thought." Other have noted the similarity in some senses to German hegen "to foster, cherish," originally "to enclose with a hedge." Related: Hugged; hugging. The noun was originally (1610s) a hold in wrestling. Meaning "affectionate embrace" is from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper