Headway Word of the Week

⇒ Learn more words in the Word of the Week archive


If you hug someone you put your arms round them, usually to show that you love them.

  • When Anne saw Tom get off the train, she ran towards him and hugged him. She was so pleased to see him after all these months.

It can also mean to hold something very close.

  • It was freezing, so she hugged the hot water bottle close to her chest.

Check out the things that we can hug

  • hug someone you love
  • hug an old friend
  • hug your knees
    (= pull them up to your chest)

Compare hug and cuddle

Cuddle also means to put your arms round somebody to show you love them. However, we use cuddle to describe a gentler action.

  • You cuddle a new-born baby.
  • You cuddle your girlfriend or boyfriend when you are feeling romantic.
  • Two men, who are old friends, hug each other when they meet.
  • A father hugs his adult son when they say goodbye.

Check out these expressions

  • If you hug the wall, you stay close to the wall as you move round the room.
  • If a boat hugs the coastline, it stays very close to the coast.
  • If new clothes hug your body, they fit very well but very tightly. It's a body-hugging outfit.
  • It's lovely to see you, son. Give me a hug!

Check out related words

  • hold
  • cuddle
  • squeeze
  • embrace

↑ top ↑

⇒ Learn more words in the Word of the Week archive