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[hawnch, hahnch] /hɔntʃ, hɑntʃ/
the hip.
the fleshy part of the body about the hip.
a hindquarter of an animal.
the leg and loin of an animal, used for food.
  1. either side of an arch, extending from the vertex or crown to the impost.
  2. the part of a beam projecting below a floor or roof slab.
Origin of haunch
1150-1200; Middle English haunche < Old French hanche < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch hanke haunch, hip, German Hanke haunch
Related forms
haunched, adjective
haunchless, adjective
Can be confused
haunch, hunch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for haunch
  • The other three play tug of war with a stick, rehearsal for future battles over a topi's haunch or a gazelle's torso.
  • Out popped an enormous chunk of perfect haunch meat.
  • He'd spray ammunition at a beast until he struck a haunch or horn or dewlap.
  • On this evening, a kitchen worker standing near a haunch of beef jotted down orders on a legal pad.
  • Behind them on a counter stand two shiny red enamel ham slicers, each with an alluring haunch set in place.
British Dictionary definitions for haunch


the human hip or fleshy hindquarter of an animal, esp a horse or similar quadruped
the leg and loin of an animal, used for food: a haunch of venison
(architect) Also called hance. the part of an arch between the impost and the apex
Derived Forms
haunched, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French hanche; related to Spanish, Italian anca, of Germanic origin; compare Low German hanke
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
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Word Origin and History for haunch

early 13c., from Old French hanche (12c.) "hip, thigh; haunch," from a Germanic source, perhaps Frankish *hanka (cf. Old High German hinkan "to limp," ancha "leg," literally "joint;" Middle Dutch hanke "haunch"). "It is only since the 18th c. that the spelling haunch has displaced hanch" [OED]. Related: Haunches.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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