Meaning of “hug” in the English Dictionary

"hug" in British English

See all translations

hugverb [ T ]

uk /hʌɡ/ us /hʌɡ/ -gg-

B1 to hold someone close to your body with your arms, usually to show that you like, love, or value them:

Have you hugged your child today?
They hugged each other when they met at the station.
Emily hugged her teddy bear tightly to her chest.
She sat on the floor hugging her knees (= with her knees bent up against her chest and her arms around them).
Whenever I travel in the city I make sure I hug my handbag tightly to me.

to stay very close to something or someone:

The road hugs the coast for several miles, then turns inland.
This type of car will hug (= not slide on) the road, even in the wettest conditions.

literary to keep something that makes you feel better or pleases you private or secret:

I hugged the idea to myself all through dinner.

More examples

  • They were sitting outside in the car, kissing and hugging each other.
  • At this wonderful news, the whole family ran together and hugged.
  • The little girl sat hugging her teddy bear.
  • She has a habit of hugging a cushion while she's watching TV.
  • He hugged me so hard that I could hardly breathe.

hugnoun [ C ]

uk /hʌɡ/ us /hʌɡ/

B1 the act of holding someone or something close to your body with your arms:

Come here and give me a big hug.
We always exchange hugs and kisses when we meet.

More examples

  • She threw her arms round me, and gave me a hug.
  • Can I have a hug before you go?
  • Hey - cheer up! I think you need a hug.
  • We were too sad to talk, but we gave each other a comforting hug.
  • At the end of the holiday, there were hugs all round before the two families parted company.

(Definition of “hug” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hug" in American English

See all translations

hugverb [ I/T ]

us /hʌɡ/ -gg-

to hold someone or something close to your body with your arms, esp. to show affection:

[ T ] Maria hugged her dog.
[ T ] As the verdict of not guilty was announced, he leaped up and hugged his lawyer.
[ T ] fig. Some fish hug (= stay close to) the bottom of the lake.
hug
noun [ C ] us /hʌɡ/

My little boy always gets a kiss and a hug before he goes to bed.

(Definition of “hug” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)