"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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 haunches
  • The idea is to discourage someone getting tenure and then resting on their haunches.
  • The yellowish polymer is for them the stuff of faces and necks, limbs and paws and haunches.
  • Its cavernous interior evokes torch-lit banquet halls where varlets spear haunches of meat with their knives.
  • Conversely, its raised rear haunches give the car a more aggressive look.
  • They swayed on their knees, leaned back on their haunches.
  • He squatted on his haunches and rocked himself in the rain.
  • Roused so that grey patches spread out from underneath brown haunches.
  • If a gruelling schedule of televised sport is leaving you heavy round the haunches, consider some away-days.
  • We sit back on our collective haunches while this disaster continues to happen everyday.
  • But no, they were too pinched about the haunches and too self-involved to be true lovers.
British Dictionary definitions for haunches


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 haunches



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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