Bear hug

a forcefully or heartily tight embrace.
Wrestling. a hold in which one contestant locks both arms around the other from the front in order to make the opponent fall backward.
to greet with or hold in a bear hug:
eager fans bear-hugging the victorious team.
Contemporary Examples

Pull your lover close for a bear hug in the middle of a passionate kiss.
10 Rules for a Great Valentine’s Day Kiss William Cane February 12, 2011

Then Cathy sweeps Cannistraci literally off her feet in a bear hug.
Edie Windsor on Love, and More Scenes From a Gay Marriage Steven Thrasher June 25, 2013

Historical Examples

He clapped his arms around me at once and gave me a bear hug.
Paradise Garden George Gibbs

Georgie came and was received with a bear hug and a shower of kisses.
Thankful’s Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln

“We’ve lost a lot of time, I’m afraid,” said Ethelwyn after they had given her a bear hug and a kiss.
What Two Children Did Charlotte E. Chittenden

How are your ribs feeling, after that bear hug you got this afternoon?
Baseball Joe Around the World Lester Chadwick

Never mind your cap; I must give you a bear hug, if I die for it.
A College Girl Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

With that he shakes me by both hands, gives me a bear hug, and rushes off.
The House of Torchy Sewell Ford

Then over their own clasping had come the man’s bear hug and little laughs and screams from her pretty mother.
Under the Law Edwina Stanton Babcock

The Rough Red jerked him to his feet, delivered a bear hug that nearly crushed his ribs, and pounded him mightily on the back.
The Riverman Stewart Edward White

a wrestling hold in which the arms are locked tightly round an opponent’s chest and arms
any similar tight embrace
(commerce) an approach to the board of one company by another to indicate that an offer is to be made for their shares

1876, from bear (n.) + hug (n.).

noun phrase

A crushing embrace (1930s+)
A takeover bid so enticing that directors are forced to accept it (1970s+ Business)


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