the act of a person, animal, or thing that hunts.
Electricity. the periodic oscillating of a rotating electromechanical system about a mean space position, as in a synchronous motor.
of, for, engaged in, or used while hunting:
a hunting cap.
to chase or search for (game or other wild animals) for the purpose of catching or killing.
to pursue with force, hostility, etc., in order to capture (often followed by down):
They hunted him down and hanged him.
to search for; seek; endeavor to obtain or find (often followed by up or out):
to hunt up the most promising candidates for the position.
to search (a place) thoroughly.
to scour (an area) in pursuit of game.
to use or direct (a horse, hound, etc.) in chasing game.
Change Ringing. to alter the place of (a bell) in a hunt.
to engage in the pursuit, capture, or killing of wild animals for food or in sport.
to make a search or quest (often followed by for or after).
Change Ringing. to alter the place of a bell in its set according to certain rules.
an act or practice of hunting game or other wild animals.
a search; a seeking or endeavor to find.
a pursuit.
a group of persons associated for the purpose of hunting; an association of .
an area hunted over.
Change Ringing. a regularly varying order of permutations in the ringing of a group of from five to twelve bells.
Contemporary Examples

Instead of engaging in broader questions, Rinella recounts his shift from hunting for food to hunting for sport.
Hunting, Climate Change and the Future of Food Nick Romeo October 7, 2012

Not just hunting, but the idea of woman as trophy to be stuffed and displayed.
Inside the Obsessive, Strange Mind of True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto Andrew Romano February 3, 2014

Viscount Mandeville, like many British aristocrats, had met her in the U.S. while “hunting” for an American wife.
The Real-Life ‘Downton’ Millionairesses Who Changed Britain Tim Teeman December 30, 2014

Of course, Harry hunting is not an exclusively American pursuit.
Invasion of the Harry Hunters McKay Coppins March 20, 2011

He once talked about hunting varmints, but that drew ridicule.
Mitt Romney’s Swiss-Cheese Campaign Places Most of His Life Off Limits Howard Kurtz May 21, 2012

Historical Examples

Dame, I grieve to tell you that your knight has been somewhat hurt in his hunting.
A Forgotten Hero Emily Sarah Holt

She was fond of hunting, and could shoot at a mark with wonderful skill.
Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne

And this reminded Philip that his real occupation was hunting hens’ eggs.
That Fortune Charles Dudley Warner

No, sir, the person he was hunting for was a man with a hundred camels.
Tom Sawyer Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

If the Assiniboines were hunting for him they were too far off to cause concern.
Deerfoot in The Mountains Edward S. Ellis


the pursuit and killing or capture of game and wild animals, regarded as a sport
(as modifier): hunting boots, hunting lodge

related adjective venatic
to seek out and kill or capture (game or wild animals) for food or sport
(intransitive) often foll by for. to look (for); search (for): to hunt for a book, to hunt up a friend
(transitive) to use (hounds, horses, etc) in the pursuit of wild animals, game, etc: to hunt a pack of hounds
(transitive) to search or draw (country) to hunt wild animals, game, etc: to hunt the parkland
(transitive) often foll by down. to track or chase diligently, esp so as to capture: to hunt down a criminal
(transitive; usually passive) to persecute; hound
(intransitive) (of a gauge indicator, engine speed, etc) to oscillate about a mean value or position
(intransitive) (of an aircraft, rocket, etc) to oscillate about a flight path
the act or an instance of hunting
chase or search, esp of animals or game
the area of a hunt
a party or institution organized for the pursuit of wild animals or game, esp for sport
the participants in or members of such a party or institution
(informal) in the hunt, having a chance of success: that result keeps us in the hunt See also hunt down, hunt up
Henry, known as Orator Hunt. 1773–1835, British radical, who led the mass meeting that ended in the Peterloo Massacre (1819)
(William) Holman. 1827–1910, British painter; a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848)
James. 1947–93, British motor-racing driver: world champion 1976
(Henry Cecil) John, Baron. 1910–98, British army officer and mountaineer. He planned and led the expedition that first climbed Mount Everest (1953)
(James Henry) Leigh (liː). 1784–1859, British poet and essayist: a founder of The Examiner (1808) in which he promoted the work of Keats and Shelley

Old English huntung, verbal noun from hunt (v.).

Old English huntian “chase game,” related to hentan “to seize,” from Proto-Germanic *huntojan (cf. Gothic hinþan “to seize, capture,” Old High German hunda “booty”), from PIE *kend-.

General sense of “search diligently” (for anything) is first recorded c.1200. Related: Hunted; hunting. Happy hunting-grounds “Native American afterlife paradise” is from “Last of the Mohicans” (1826).

early 12c., from hunt (v.). Meaning “body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds” is first recorded 1570s.

mentioned first in Gen. 10:9 in connection with Nimrod. Esau was “a cunning hunter” (Gen. 25:27). Hunting was practised by the Hebrews after their settlement in the “Land of Promise” (Lev. 17:15; Prov. 12:27). The lion and other ravenous beasts were found in Palestine (1 Sam. 17:34; 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Kings 13:24; Ezek. 19:3-8), and it must have been necessary to hunt and destroy them. Various snares and gins were used in hunting (Ps. 91:3; Amos 3:5; 2 Sam. 23:20). War is referred to under the idea of hunting (Jer. 16:16; Ezek. 32:30).


happy hunting ground
high and low, (hunt)
run with (the hare, hunt with the hounds)

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