verb (used with object)
to chase or search for (game or other wild animals) for the purpose of catching or killing.
to pursue with force, hostility, etc., in order to capture (often followed by down ): They hunted him down and hanged him.
to search for; seek; endeavor to obtain or find (often followed by up or out ): to hunt up the most promising candidates for the position.
to search (a place) thoroughly.
to scour (an area) in pursuit of game.
to use or direct (a horse, hound, etc.) in chasing game.
Change Ringing. to alter the place of (a bell) in a hunt.
verb (used without object)
to engage in the pursuit, capture, or killing of wild animals for food or in sport.
to make a search or quest (often followed by for or after ).
Change Ringing. to alter the place of a bell in its set according to certain rules.
an act or practice of hunting game or other wild animals.
a search; a seeking or endeavor to find.
a pursuit.
a group of persons associated for the purpose of hunting; an association of hunters.
an area hunted over.
Change Ringing. a regularly varying order of permutations in the ringing of a group of from five to twelve bells.

before 1000; (v.) Middle English hunten, Old English huntian, derivative of hunta hunter, akin to hentan to pursue; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.

huntable, adjective
huntedly, adverb
outhunt, verb (used with object)
overhunt, verb (used with object)
unhuntable, adjective
unhunted, adjective

1. pursue, track. Unabridged


(James Henry) Leigh [lee] , 1784–1859, English essayist, poet, and editor.
Richard Morris, 1828–95, U.S. architect.
(William) Holman [hohl-muhn] , 1827–1910, English painter.
William Morris, 1824–79, U.S. painter (brother of Richard Morris Hunt). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hunt (hʌnt)
vb (often foll by for) (often foll by down)
1.  to seek out and kill or capture (game or wild animals) for food or sport
2.  to look (for); search (for): to hunt for a book; to hunt up a friend
3.  (tr) to use (hounds, horses, etc) in the pursuit of wild animals, game, etc: to hunt a pack of hounds
4.  (tr) to search or draw (country) to hunt wild animals, game, etc: to hunt the parkland
5.  to track or chase diligently, esp so as to capture: to hunt down a criminal
6.  (tr; usually passive) to persecute; hound
7.  (intr) (of a gauge indicator, engine speed, etc) to oscillate about a mean value or position
8.  (intr) (of an aircraft, rocket, etc) to oscillate about a flight path
9.  the act or an instance of hunting
10.  chase or search, esp of animals or game
11.  the area of a hunt
12.  a party or institution organized for the pursuit of wild animals or game, esp for sport
13.  the participants in or members of such a party or institution
14.  informal in the hunt hunt down See also hunt up having a chance of success: that result keeps us in the hunt
[Old English huntian; related to Old English hentan, Old Norse henda to grasp]

Hunt (hʌnt)
1.  Henry, known as Orator Hunt. 1773--1835, British radical, who led the mass meeting that ended in the Peterloo Massacre (1819)
2.  (William) Holman. 1827--1910, British painter; a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848)
3.  James. 1947--93, British motor-racing driver: world champion 1976
4.  (Henry Cecil) John, Baron. 1910--98, British army officer and mountaineer. He planned and led the expedition that first climbed Mount Everest (1953)
5.  (James Henry) Leigh (liː). 1784--1859, British poet and essayist: a founder of The Examiner (1808) in which he promoted the work of Keats and Shelley

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. huntian "chase game," related to hentan "to seize," from P.Gmc. *khuntojan (cf. Goth. hinþan "to seize, capture," O.H.G. hunda "booty"), from PIE *kend-. General sense of "search diligently" (for anything) is first recorded c.1200. The noun meaning "body of persons associated for the purpose
of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded 1579. Happy hunting-grounds "Native American afterlife paradise" is from "Last of the Mohicans" (1826).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see happy hunting ground; high and low, (hunt); run with (the hare, hunt with the hounds).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Stencil a basic measuring system onto the board cover, and you'll never need to
  hunt down a measuring stick.
Workers had to hunt down original materials and replicate old techniques to
  match the original design of the building.
The dog that is forced into the wood will not hunt many deer.
For every natural action, every motion and process of nature, is nothing else
  than a hunt.
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