Definition: Hunting

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From Middle English hunting, from Old English huntung.

Equivalent to hunt from Middle English hunten, from Old English huntian (“to hunt”), from Proto-West Germanic *huntōn (“to hunt, capture”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ḱent- (“to catch, seize”). Related to Old High German hunda (“booty”), Gothic 𐌷𐌿𐌽𐌸𐍃 (hunþs, “body of captives”), Old English hūþ (“plunder, booty, prey”), Old English hentan (“to catch, seize”) + -ing.


hunting (countable and uncountable, plural huntings)

  1. The act of finding and killing a wild animal, either for sport or with the intention of using its parts to make food, clothes, etc.
    Every December, we go deer hunting.
  2. Looking for something, especially for a job or place to live.
    When the rent was raised, I figured it was time for us to go house hunting in a different neighborhood.
  3. (engineering) Fluctuating around a central value without stabilizing.
  4. (telephony) The process of determining which of a group of telephone lines will receive a call.

Usage notes

Although hunting is technically a hypernym for fishing, fishing is generally not thought of as a type of hunting since it involves aquatic animals. Hunting is also the present participle of the verb "hunt."

Derived terms

  • bow hunting
  • fox hunting
  • house-hunting
  • hunting dog
  • hunting ground
  • hunting jacket
  • hunting knife
  • hunting lodge
  • hunting spider
  • hunting sword
  • hunting whip
  • job hunting


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