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[huhg] /hʌg/
verb (used with object), hugged, hugging.
to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace.
to cling firmly or fondly to; cherish:
to hug an opinion.
to keep close to, as in sailing, walking, or in moving along or alongside of:
to hug the shore; to hug the road.
verb (used without object), hugged, hugging.
to cling together; lie close.
a tight clasp with the arms; embrace.
Origin of hug
1560-70; perhaps < Old Norse hugga to soothe, console; akin to Old English hogian to care for
Related forms
hugger, noun
huggingly, adverb
unhugged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hug
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Added to this it was raw and cold, which had the effect of causing the inhabitants of the big kraal to hug their firesides.

    A Frontier Mystery Bertram Mitford
  • But the mothers will hug their boys as soon as they get hold of them.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • He's gone up to his room, I'm sure—I'll just surprise him with a hug and my hands over his eyes like we used to do years ago.

  • I tried to hug Susan D. the other day, and I might as well have hugged the door!

    Margaret Montfort Laura E. Richards
  • It belongs not to the blessed season and genius of youth, to hug to its heart useless and unavailing griefs.

British Dictionary definitions for hug


verb (mainly transitive) hugs, hugging, hugged
(also intransitive) to clasp (another person or thing) tightly or (of two people) to cling close together; embrace
to keep close to a shore, kerb, etc
to cling to (beliefs, etc); cherish
to congratulate (oneself); be delighted with (oneself)
a tight or fond embrace
Derived Forms
huggable, adjective
hugger, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hugga to comfort, Old English hogian to take care of
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 hug

1560s, hugge "to embrace," of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Norse hugga "to comfort," from hugr "courage, mood," from Proto-Germanic *hugjan, related to Old English hycgan "to think, consider," Gothic hugs "mind, soul, thought." Other have noted the similarity in some senses to German hegen "to foster, cherish," originally "to enclose with a hedge." Related: Hugged; hugging. The noun was originally (1610s) a hold in wrestling. Meaning "affectionate embrace" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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