Definition of haunch in English:



  • 1A buttock and thigh considered together, in a human or animal.

    • ‘When ‘Lil’ laid down to foal, her haunches were against the wall, so within a few contractions the foal was stuck half in the mare and half in the wall.’
    • ‘They are easily ten times stronger than a human of similar height: no steroids could make a man accumulate such muscle mass on shoulders, back and haunches.’
    • ‘In the commentary to her plate, d' Arconville described the chest of the female as narrower, the spine more curved, and the haunches and pelvis larger in women than in men.’
    • ‘The actual gargoyle itself was much shorter; it was hunched forward, claws raised in front of its shoulders and haunches tucked up underneath.’
    • ‘He broke off to kick one of the mules on the haunch as it stamped uneasily towards the side.’
    • ‘But, when agility is needed for quick stops, starts, jumping, quick rotations, carriage on the back haunches is desired.’
    • ‘They were built like cattle, with thick necks and big haunches.’
    • ‘We got lost in a forest and Scottish Frank came and found us, placing a hand on Shinto's trembling haunch and a cold beer in my hot palm.’
    • ‘IT WAS October 1998, and the cows were rubbing their haunches against the walls of my caravan, making it wobble.’
    • ‘Siabra turned obediently to leave and Diego slapped his horn against her haunches, dodging her buck as he sent her off in a gallop toward the main road.’
    • ‘Explain how to walk around a horse at least 2 arm-lengths away from the horse's haunches and tail.’
    • ‘And I'm back, having kicked the dog in the haunches and sent him off whimpering.’
    • ‘His arms and legs were thin as sticks, ribs clearly visible, belly flattened almost to his spine, bones angled sharply against the skin of his starved haunches.’
    • ‘His superb muscles tensed, great shoulders hunched, haunches low.’
    • ‘Tears streamed down my face as Joel made his final attempt to ward the cat off before I picked up Joel's gun, only feet away from my toes, and shot the cat in its haunches.’
    • ‘It shows its whites, its ears flicking, its haunches trembling - it senses their stalker nearby as well - but it is a good horse and stands its ground with him.’
    • ‘A good workhorse, it was always said, should be well put together with powerful haunches as well as being short-coupled, which meant it must have a short back from withers to tail head.’
    • ‘He dropped to his haunches, his elbows on her desk.’
    • ‘He rises quickly from the water, licks his haunches, and stands erect on short back legs.’
    • ‘David moved behind him and, kneeling up on his strong and muscled haunches, began to slowly massage David's back and shoulders.’
    rump, rear, rear end, backside, seat
    buttocks, thighs, hips, hindquarters
    behind, sit-upon, stern, btm, tochus, rusty dusty
    bum, botty, prat, jacksie
    butt, fanny, tush, tushie, tail, duff, buns, booty, caboose, heinie, patootie, keister, tuchis, bazoo, bippy
    batty, rass
    fundament, posterior
    arse, clunge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[mass noun]The leg and loin of an animal, especially a deer, as food.
      ‘haunch of venison’
      • ‘Beyond this, Aertsen skillfully foreshortened objects never before honored with such attention: sausages, fish, a skinned ox head, a recumbent haunch.’
      • ‘Another starter of pan-fried haunch of venison had enough well - hung pink meat to constitute a main course.’
      • ‘The next morning the untouched haunch of venison is on the breakfast table, now cooked to Paivikki's satisfaction, but cold.’
      • ‘At this time of year, we are often the recipients of a freshly shot brace of pheasant or a wild haunch of venison.’
      • ‘Flesh forks for boiled haunches of meat that looked like torture instruments, were forged out of billets of iron, whereas cauldrons were made out of sheets of iron, that were overlapped and riveted.’
      • ‘To follow, my fiancée selected the pan-fried haunch of venison with red cabbage.’
      • ‘After that came the famous Valenti pork shank, an imposing haunch of meat, braised in whole flagons of wine, supported by garden vegetables and a mound of polenta.’
      • ‘A dish guaranteed to tickle M. Chirac's tastebuds, he said, would be Pancetta-wrapped haunch of Fort William venison with wild mushrooms en croute in a tarragon sauce.’
      • ‘I wasn't listening however, being too absorbed in my main order, haunch of venison, fondant potato, wild mushrooms, garlic puy lentils and pancetta.’
      • ‘When he thought I had suffered enough, he reached into his trousers and brought out a giant slab of dried kudu haunch.’
      • ‘How do you cut up and wrap a haunch of venison without water?’
      • ‘Whole haunches of animal meat were hanging from the wagon, more lay in sizzling rows on those grills.’
      • ‘We get ours from Chris Haseldon, a man who treats his produce with the same respect a fish supplier would accord to his line-caught sea bass or a game supplier to a beautiful haunch of venison.’
      • ‘He did not press the issue, the warm roasted haunch of a rabbit she placed before him finally capturing his full attention.’
      • ‘It may need to be as vegan as a freshly plucked dandelion leaf, or as bloody as a rare grilled haunch of venison.’
      • ‘A mail order box of a Swiss-cut haunch, roe loin steaks and diced meat is under an introductory offer until 30 October of £39.’
      • ‘That's great news, since it means we no longer have to buy a haunch of venison large enough to feed a party of 12, but can now buy a couple of venison steaks for midweek suppers.’
      • ‘I decided on roast haunch of venison with a sweet potato rosti and wild mushroom and red wine sauce.’
      • ‘Biltong is traditionally made from strips of springbok or kudu haunch, herbed, salted and left to cook-dry in the sweltering African sun.’
      • ‘I re-boiled water to make our morning's broth, and cut slabs of the smoked deer haunch, and brought out eggs, and we ate of this as the darkness began to fall.’
  • 2Architecture
    The side of an arch, between the crown and the pier.

    • ‘A strengthening concrete haunch / slab was then cast over the arches before a textile and thick PVC-type waterproofing membrane was laid on the concrete bed.’
    • ‘The arch is, however, not without its peculiar weakness. The lateral thrust is strongest at the haunches of the arch (the part midways between the crown and the springing).’
    • ‘Lighting also differs between the spaces, from diffused light in the narrow galleries to reflected light onto the concrete haunches of the wider galleries.’
    • ‘The girder trusses running in the north-south direction were designed as continuous trusses and had haunch ends at the column lines.’
    • ‘The thrust of the barrel vault is strongest at the haunches of the arch and is, of course, continuous for its whole length.’
    side, haunch, loin, quarter, thigh
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French hanche, of Germanic origin.