English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

hugging (ˈhʌɡɪŋ) 


present participle of verb

  1. of hug2

hug (hʌɡ Pronunciation for hug



Word forms:  hugs,  hugging,  hugged
(mainly transitive)
  1. (also intransitive) to clasp (another person or thing) tightly or (of two people) to cling close together; embrace
  2. to keep close to a shore, kerb, etc
  3. to cling to (beliefs, etc); cherish
  4. to congratulate (oneself); be delighted with (oneself)


  1. a tight or fond embrace

Derived Forms

ˈhuggable adjective
ˈhugger noun

Word Origin

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hugga to comfort, Old English hogian to take care of


View thesaurus entry
= embrace, hold (onto), cuddle, squeeze, cling, clasp, enfold, hold close, take in your arms
= clasp, hold (onto), grip, nurse, retain
= follow closely, keep close, stay near, cling to, follow the course of
= embrace, squeeze, bear hug, clinch, clasp




  1. combines with nouns to form adjectives which describe an item of clothing that fits very tightly and clearly reveals the shape of your body   ⇒ body-hugging   ⇒ skin-hugging
    see also figure-hugging, hip-hugging

Example Sentences Including 'hugging'

He joined his hands and went down on his knees, hugging at Smokes's legs.
O'Connor, Joe Desperadoes
He sat there in complete silence, still rocking in his chair and hugging himself.
Hugo Wilcken THE EXECUTION (2002)
Her mother was quiet and undemonstrative, not given to hugging or kissing her daughter.
Dorothy Rowe BEYOND FEAR (2002)
I just sat there, clutching my suitcase to me with my left arm and hugging Angel against me with my right.
Andrews, Virginia Web of Dreams
On the hikoi the Harawiras were often seen hugging , kissing, laughing.
New Zealand Herald (2004)
Terrell Owens, seen hugging Jerry Rice, signed with the Eagles.
CBC (2004)
Then reward him, Dibra says, by hugging , praising, making a big thing out of it.
Maxim (2005)
Two hours later Magee is hugging his leather jacket tightly around him, his hands pushed down into the pockets.
Belfast Telegraph (2004)


Log in to comment on this word.