adjective, hun·gri·er, hun·gri·est.

having a desire, craving, or need for food; feeling hunger.
indicating, characteristic of, or characterized by hunger: He approached the table with a hungry look.
strongly or eagerly desirous.
lacking needful or desirable elements; not fertile; poor: hungry land.
marked by a scarcity of food: The depression years were hungry times.
Informal. aggressively ambitious or competitive, as from a need to overcome poverty or past defeats: a hungry investment firm looking for wealthy clients.

Origin of hungry

before 950; Middle English, Old English hungrig. See hunger, -y1
Related formshun·gri·ly, adverbhun·gri·ness, noun
Can be confusedHungary hungry (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for hungry

1. ravenous, famishing, starving. Hungry, famished, starved describe a condition resulting from a lack of food. Hungry is a general word, expressing various degrees of eagerness or craving for food: hungry between meals; desperately hungry after a long fast; hungry as a bear. Famished denotes the condition of one reduced to actual suffering from want of food, but sometimes is used lightly or in an exaggerated statement: famished after being lost in a wilderness; simply famished ( hungry ). Starved denotes a condition resulting from long-continued lack or insufficiency of food, and implies enfeeblement, emaciation, or death (originally death from any cause, but now death from lack of food): He looks thin and starved. By the end of the terrible winter, thousands had starved ( to death ). It is also used as a humorous exaggeration: I only had two sandwiches, pie, and some milk, so I'm simply starved ( hungry ).

Antonyms for hungry

1. sated, satiated, surfeited. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hungrily

Contemporary Examples of hungrily

Historical Examples of hungrily

  • Percival read them all hungrily, disregarding those that did not confirm his own opinions.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No other woman since the world began had been so fit for love, had yearned for it so hungrily.

  • Hungrily I peered after them up the long cavernous docksheds.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • "Sure, an' I've a mind to reach up there an' grab that sandwich," he said hungrily.

  • Her own mouth, for that matter, had taken his kisses--and hungrily, or he was no judge of kissing.


    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for hungrily


adjective -grier or -griest

desiring food
experiencing pain, weakness, or nausea through lack of food
(postpositive foll by for) having a craving, desire, or need (for)
expressing or appearing to express greed, craving, or desire
lacking fertility; poor
Australian and NZ informal
  1. greedy; grasping
  2. stingy; mean
NZ (of timber) dry and bare
Derived Formshungrily or hungeringly, adverbhungriness, noun
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 hungrily


Old English hungrig "hungry, famished;" see hunger + -y (2). Cf. Old Frisian hungerig, Dutch hongerig, German hungrig. Figurative use from c.1200. Related: Hungrily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper