Meaning of hunger in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhʌŋɡə/

See synonyms for hunger

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mass noun
  • 1A feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.

    ‘she was faint with hunger’
    • ‘Patients with dementia go walking for many reasons, including discomfort, hunger or pain.’
    • ‘Food stimulation also resulted in increases in self-reports of hunger and desire for food.’
    • ‘I was constantly confronted with my own weaknesses, my hunger, my low tolerance for pain.’
    • ‘Mothers quickly learn to distinguish a cry of hunger from one of discomfort or frustration and respond appropriately.’
    • ‘Early signs and symptoms include sweating, shakiness, weakness, hunger, dizziness and nausea.’
    • ‘Common symptoms of this are weakness, shaking, hunger and sweating.’
    • ‘He was in constant agony, a pain brought on by hunger and lack of energy.’
    • ‘They used questionnaires to assess hunger and the desire for different food types.’
    • ‘It all helped to keep energy levels up, and made everyone forget the pangs of hunger and thirst, for well over three hours.’
    • ‘His head was throbbing and he was faint from hunger.’
    • ‘So here we were, feeling faint with hunger, stomachs rumbling and no grub ready - and getting stiffer by the minute after our trek.’
    • ‘Such foods seem naturally to control hunger and appetite.’
    • ‘In these cases, a patient usually does not feel pain, hunger, or thirst.’
    • ‘John was almost faint from hunger, his feet throbbed and his legs burned, and he was exhausted.’
    • ‘Jane awakens again later in the afternoon, faint with hunger and still numb from emotion.’
    • ‘Unlike hunger or temptation, cravings are typically a draw toward specific foods that are, in excess, bad for you.’
    • ‘The hunger and cravings are now non-existent, though I do begin to go a bit crazy.’
    • ‘It alters the circuitry in the brain that regulates hunger and cravings for alcohol and nicotine.’
    • ‘If I had meat and vegetables and nothing else, it was easier to control, but if I had potatoes and desert, the hunger got stronger.’
    • ‘Hearty and filling, I came away from this part of the meal with my meat cravings satisfied, and my hunger stopped dead in its tracks.’
    lack of food, need for food, hungriness, ravenousness, emptiness
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    1. 1.1A severe lack of food.
      ‘they died from cold and hunger’
      • ‘These camps face severe problems of hunger, disease as well as security.’
      • ‘One result of this was occasional and localized food shortages so severe as to occasion hunger, starvation, and death.’
      • ‘Up to 3 million people are suffering from severe hunger while another 3 million have not got enough to eat.’
      • ‘More than 3,000 Mongolian gazelles have died of hunger and cold weather since blizzards hit the region this winter.’
      • ‘It is feared around 10,000 of them could perish from hunger, cold and disease in the next two weeks unless help arrives.’
      • ‘Combined with the spectres of disease and hunger, the cold is expected to claim the lives of many who survived the initial earthquake.’
      • ‘Death, from hunger, cold, and reduced resistance to illnesses, none of which could be treated, was commonplace in Leningrad.’
      • ‘Nearly half of this country's children are suffering from such severe hunger that their physical and mental development is being seriously retarded.’
      • ‘In three weeks, 60,000 men were lost through cold, hunger and relentless attacks.’
      • ‘Many thousands, possibly millions would die of cold and hunger.’
      • ‘If orphaned cubs don't die of cold or hunger, they may be sold as pets or circus animals by hunters or poachers.’
      • ‘What is required in the immediate is to save the lives of as many people as possible from hunger, thirst and epidemics.’
      • ‘He announced yesterday that almost 100 tonnes of food would have to be sourced to avert the threat of hunger in the affected areas.’
      • ‘Each day 50,000 people die of hunger and preventable illnesses.’
      • ‘As it is, way too many people are dying of hunger, dying of poverty, dying of disease, dying of bombs - all of which are preventable.’
      • ‘Otherwise, we're going to lose lots and lots of people dying of hunger.’
      • ‘Agricultural officials in West Africa say that if the current locust swarms worsen, up to one million people could face hunger.’
      • ‘We have enough resources in the country to look after our people in times of hunger and in times when they have plenty.’
      • ‘Often they marched with bare feet, their stomachs aching with hunger.’
      • ‘In 1984, there were reports of surplus in the south while one million people died of hunger in the northeastern regions of the country.’
    2. 1.2A strong desire or craving.
      ‘her hunger for knowledge’
      • ‘It's infused with desire and loss, impossible tenderness, insatiable hunger.’
      • ‘Have sensible people never felt the insatiable hunger of infatuation?’
      • ‘There was only one: the desire for vengeance, a hunger so strong that it had consumed his entire personality.’
      • ‘I'm very confident, the desire and hunger in the team is stronger than ever.’
      • ‘The President fully understands people's hunger and thirst for justice.’
      • ‘His point was that the kids from the under-advantaged neighborhoods have a stronger hunger.’
      • ‘The hunger for food yes, but also the hunger to tell Chris what was in his heart.’
      • ‘The unsatisfied hunger is an ache for things spiritual.’
      • ‘For the shopaholic, there's an endless search for objects to satisfy a sense of inner longing or hunger.’
      • ‘I once went to a car boot sale and marvelled at the greed and hunger of the bargain hunters, me included.’
      • ‘The hunger is still there and the panel is very strong.’
      • ‘He still possesses the same hunger and childlike love of the game that has defined him throughout his illustrious career.’
      • ‘Throughout my life I've had a mad hunger for finding out things - for knowing things.’
      • ‘And you get this hunger for his company, even his friendship, entirely through the voice and the language.’
      • ‘Lending libraries are a boon for those who have a hunger for reading.’
      • ‘I personally think that hunger for change for change's sake is pretty infantile.’
      • ‘However, I feel the need for a change and a hunger for new influences.’
      • ‘It might not be ground-breaking but it sure sates the appetite that their hunger for great tunes has precipitated.’
      • ‘It was a grudge match, one neither could bear to lose, but gathering up the enthusiasm and hunger for the final shouldn't be a problem.’
      desire, craving, longing, yearning, pining, hankering, thirst, appetite, lust, ache, want, need
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[no object]
  • 1hunger after/forHave a strong desire or craving for.

    ‘he hungered for a sense of self-worth’
    • ‘But humanity hungers for a sense of right and wrong, for some absolute moral values.’
    • ‘I looked over at Ethan, his eyes on me, a sudden flash of desire in his eyes, I knew he still hungered for me as my lips curled into a smile.’
    • ‘Aye, he was a kind and strong leader, but he hungered after adventure and ran after it with haste.’
    • ‘The game that the comrades disapproved of because of its un-Soviet focus on the individual is ideal for an emerging nation, which hungers for new sports and new stars.’
    • ‘The 18-year-old clearly loves playing up to the audience, as a performer she consistently hungers for attention.’
    • ‘He hungers for a goodness that continually eludes him.’
    • ‘Conspiracy is unnecessary when ideology hungers for power and its many adherents swarm of their own accord to the same pot of honey.’
    • ‘It hungers for change and progress, and some comics who are clearly on their way up can be hampered slightly if their show treads a little water this year.’
    • ‘The consumer society hungers for the deviant and unexpected.’
    • ‘Republicans tend to assume that everyone hungers for more investment accounts to handle.’
    • ‘It's ironic that this apotheosis of flash over substance comes at a time when the public is hungering for greater perspective and deeper understanding.’
    • ‘I've mentioned this before, but I am still hungering for an explanation.’
    • ‘There are moments when it seems that a whole society, or the majority of a society is actually hungering for war.’
    • ‘Because, somehow, somewhere along the way, I stopped hungering for it.’
    • ‘Sure, I wander around checking out the talent, but there really is no one special I'm hungering for.’
    • ‘Maybe it is a symptom that we are hungering for something different.’
    • ‘He disbanded the group in 1982, hungering after a new direction and tired of the relentless pressure of his frontman role.’
    • ‘Participation is what we were denied, and what we hungered for.’
    • ‘It's not a spiritual experience anymore and that's what people hunger for.’
    • ‘Maybe it's just that I don't hunger for films the way I do for books.’
    desire, crave, have a craving for
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  • 2 archaic Feel or suffer hunger.

    ‘when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterwards hungered’
    • ‘How many hungered, sickened or died as a result?’
    • ‘Tell it to all those who hungered and thirsted and prayed and begged for help.’
    • ‘By analogy, a mother does not love her child because it hungers and cries, even though its crying makes new demands upon her love.’


Old English hungor (noun), hyngran (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch honger and German Hunger.