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[huhng-gree] /ˈhʌŋ gri/
adjective, hungrier, hungriest.
having a desire, craving, or need for food; feeling hunger.
indicating, characteristic of, or characterized by hunger:
He approached the table with a hungry look.
strongly or eagerly desirous.
lacking needful or desirable elements; not fertile; poor:
hungry land.
marked by a scarcity of food:
The depression years were hungry times.
Informal. aggressively ambitious or competitive, as from a need to overcome poverty or past defeats:
a hungry investment firm looking for wealthy clients.
Origin of hungry
before 950; Middle English, Old English hungrig. See hunger, -y1
Related forms
hungrily, adverb
hungriness, noun
Can be confused
Hungary, hungry (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. ravenous, famishing, starving. Hungry, famished, starved describe a condition resulting from a lack of food. Hungry is a general word, expressing various degrees of eagerness or craving for food: hungry between meals; desperately hungry after a long fast; hungry as a bear. Famished denotes the condition of one reduced to actual suffering from want of food, but sometimes is used lightly or in an exaggerated statement: famished after being lost in a wilderness; simply famished (hungry ). Starved denotes a condition resulting from long-continued lack or insufficiency of food, and implies enfeeblement, emaciation, or death (originally death from any cause, but now death from lack of food): He looks thin and starved. By the end of the terrible winter, thousands had starved (to death ). It is also used as a humorous exaggeration: I only had two sandwiches, pie, and some milk, so I'm simply starved (hungry ).
1. sated, satiated, surfeited. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hungrily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unsuitable food it seemed, but the little creature ate it hungrily, and was soon asleep.

    Shenac's Work at Home Margaret Murray Robertson
  • They were also cooking corn cakes, and Henry looked at these hungrily.

    The Eyes of the Woods Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Again Hugh smelled the whisky fumes as she put her hot mouth to his and kissed him hungrily.

    The Plastic Age Percy Marks
  • He looked at her 136 hungrily, as might a lover to whom all spiritual heights were denied.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • The Mexican watched him hungrily as he counted out the green-backed bills.

  • His arms closed around her so hungrily, so strongly, that she gasped a little.

    The Place of Honeymoons Harold MacGrath
  • None touched her, but they were woman-starved, and they looked at her hungrily.

    1492 Mary Johnston
  • Christian lit the lamp; and he looked at her hungrily without a word.

British Dictionary definitions for hungrily


adjective -grier, -griest
desiring food
experiencing pain, weakness, or nausea through lack of food
(postpositive) foll by for. having a craving, desire, or need (for)
expressing or appearing to express greed, craving, or desire
lacking fertility; poor
(Austral & NZ, informal)
  1. greedy; grasping
  2. stingy; mean
(NZ) (of timber) dry and bare
Derived Forms
hungrily, hungeringly, adverb
hungriness, noun
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 hungrily


Old English hungrig "hungry, famished;" see hunger + -y (2). Cf. Old Frisian hungerig, Dutch hongerig, German hungrig. Figurative use from c.1200. Related: Hungrily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hungrily



Very ambitious; extremely eager to succeed: He won't make it because he's not hungry enough

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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