Definition of hunch in US English:

hunch

verb

[with object]
  • 1Raise (one's shoulders) and bend the top of one's body forward.

    ‘he thrust his hands in his pockets, hunching his shoulders’
    no object ‘he hunched over his glass’
    • ‘And there she was sitting hunched over in the chair right next to the door.’
    • ‘Sometimes I even find myself hunching my shoulders forward like Dean, and walking with my hands thrust deep in my pockets.’
    • ‘I hunched my shoulders and stared at the gravestones solemnly.’
    • ‘He hunched his shoulders, first one side, then the other.’
    • ‘A young girl of about 15 was hunched over as her shoulder shook with silent tears.’
    • ‘His once broad shoulders were hunched forward as a result of his age.’
    • ‘His shoulders were hunched over and his eyes tried to stay open.’
    • ‘My hands found my pocket again, and I hunched my shoulders so my face was hidden by both my hair and my jacket.’
    • ‘My cheeks grew hot and I hunched my shoulders in shame.’
    • ‘Don't bring the leg in so far it bends or hunch your shoulders; this stresses the hamstrings and the spine and neck.’
    • ‘I smile, appeased and amused, when I realize that he's actually ducking, and his broad shoulders are hunched over.’
    • ‘The tops of their heads had the same randomly curling hair; even the way they hunched their shoulders was similar.’
    • ‘‘Yea fine,’ I said, hunching my shoulders in the breeze.’
    • ‘Avoid hunching your shoulders toward your ears or rounding your back.’
    • ‘He faltered slightly at her words, hunching his shoulders as he wiped the tears from his face.’
    • ‘Out on the stoop a bunch of men were sitting hunched over their six packs and a dog was incessantly barking.’
    • ‘Susie squealed, hunching her shoulders and scooting away from him.’
    • ‘He hunched his shoulders to force his body away from the trembles.’
    • ‘Mary frowned, hunching her shoulders together in a defensive motion.’
    • ‘The man is hunched over, bent by the difficulties in his life, but his expression is resolute to the point of defiance.’
    arch, curve, hump, bend, bow, curl, crook
    crouch, huddle up, curl up, hunker down, bend, stoop, squat
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    1. 1.1no object Bend one's body into a huddled position.
      ‘I hunched up as small as I could’
      • ‘He was trying to act surprised and then laugh, but the way his body hunched over as he did it and the voice he did it in just cracked me up.’
      • ‘Unable to stand it, he hunched over completely, forehead touching the surface of the altar as he fought to control his cries of anguish.’
      • ‘The beady eyes of the swarthy man focused on his like a snake upon its prey, and he hunched up, balling his fists, his body lean and ornery.’
      • ‘I hunched up my body and put the towel over my self in protection.’
      crouch, crouch down, hunker, hunker down, sit on one's haunches, sit on one's heels, sit, bend down, bob down, duck down, cower, cringe
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    2. 1.2 Shove or push; nudge.
      ‘she hunched me and winked’

noun

  • 1A feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.

    ‘she was acting on a hunch’
    • ‘On a hunch, the researchers radioed the ground-based team and urged them to continue gathering data when the star re-emerged from behind Uranus.’
    • ‘Here again, the expectations are based more on hunches than a detailed analysis of where Indian agriculture stands.’
    • ‘It has enabled governments and individuals to think more globally in a systematic way and not just on the basis of hunches and guesses.’
    • ‘Based on a hunch, the lawyer asked if the widow had been born a woman.’
    • ‘Homesick, he noted how similar the landscape was to his native Tuscany and, acting on a hunch, he went digging for truffles.’
    • ‘Very likely, some intuitive hunches do indicate the presence of a sixth sense.’
    • ‘Police, waiting there on a hunch, arrested Simpson, while the other two escaped.’
    • ‘Acting on a hunch, I detoured down the path and a few minutes later emerged by a glorious pool.’
    • ‘He just suggested it out of the blue, and we followed it on a hunch.’
    • ‘The work is an attempt to say something interesting by exploring the author's hunches and intuitions.’
    • ‘For all their pretensions to being empirical and hard-nosed, most business decisions are guided by pure intuition and wild hunches.’
    • ‘It can be shown in simple exercises that we all have a propensity to seek to confirm our hunches or hypotheses, rather than seek to test and refute them.’
    • ‘That night, on a hunch, he returns with a flashlight, and, proving once again why he was made head gardener, manages to startle a gorging gray horde of sweet-toothed woodmice.’
    • ‘Here is a hunch based, like all good hunches, on just about nothing.’
    • ‘Drake and Emily thought it was lunchtime, based on vague hunches and guessing, but mostly on the fact that they were hungry.’
    • ‘I read on the web that a Thai meteorologist, acting on a hunch, sent an alert to television and radio stations.’
    • ‘It is only where the decision is clearly random, or based on a hunch or prejudice, that the officer's action is likely to be regarded as unreasonable.’
    • ‘Instead, decisions were made based on facts rather than hunches and resources were pooled for the common good.’
    • ‘On a hunch, the two cops head over anyway to discover that the warehouse is indeed being robbed.’
    • ‘Most medical research is empirical based on evidence rather than hunches or preferences.’
    feeling, guess, suspicion, sneaking suspicion, impression, inkling, idea, notion, fancy, presentiment, premonition, intuition
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  • 2A humped position or thing.

    ‘the hunch of his back’
    • ‘This first hunch when done correctly will put you in a butterfly position and will utilize the large latissimus muscles of the back.’
    protuberance, hump, lump, bump, knob, protrusion, prominence, projection, bulge, swelling, nodule, node, mass, growth, outgrowth, excrescence
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  • 3dialect A thick piece; a hunk.

    ‘a hunch of bread’
    • ‘She blew a kiss to Wolf, called him little robber, and slid a wooden platter between the bars of the cage: two steaming lumps of goat's flesh, with a hunch of bread and a flask of wine.’
    piece, portion, wedge, chunk, hunk, lump, slab, segment
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Origin

Late 15th century: of unknown origin. The original meaning was ‘push, shove’ (noun and verb), a sense retained now in Scots as a noun, and in US dialect as a verb. Sense 1 of the noun derives probably from a US sense of the verb ‘nudge someone in order to draw attention to something’.

Pronunciation

hunch

/hən(t)ʃ//hən(t)SH/