Word of the Day: Hunch


hunch / hŭnch


1. an intuitive feeling

Trust your hunchesHunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.

Joyce Brothers, 1927 – 2013

2. a hump

The larva is a maggot curved like a hook, carrying on its back an ample pouch or hunch, forming part of its alimentary canal.

From “Social Life in the Insect World” by J. H. Fabre, 1823 – 1915

3. a hunk; a lump; a chunk

Pumblechook and I breakfasted at eight o’clock in the parlour behind the shop, while the shopman took his mug of tea and hunch of bread-and-butter on a sack of peas in the front premises.

From “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, 1812 – 1870

4. a push; a rough shove or bump

Suppose, says I, you should give him a good hunch with your foot.

From “The Light of Nature Pursued”, by Abraham Tucker, 1705 – 1774


1. to bend into a rounded or arched shape

Now he shivered and shrunk from the rain, hiding his hands in his pockets and hunching his shoulders together.

From “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, 1878 – 1968

2. to push; to shove

Jack’s friends began to hunch and push one another: why don’t you go and cut the poor fellow down?

From “The History of John Bull” by Dr. John Arbuthnot, 1667 – 1735

3. to plunge forward

It hunched from foreleg to flank,

Heaved; then the yoke on its forehead

Split, and the treasure sank,

And Downal was left with the broken yoke,

And the silent ox on the bank.

From “The Ballad of Downal Baun” by Padraic Colum, 1881 – 1972

4. to adopt a stooped posture with shoulders and back rounded and head down; to crouch; to squat

Hunched down in the small bright room Nel waited.

From “Sula” by Toni Morrison, 1931 – 2019

5. to draw up together; to huddle

With the exception of Lip-lip, they were compelled to hunch together for mutual protection against the terrible enemy they had made.

From “White Fang” by Jack London, 1876 – 1916