From Middle English hunger, from Old English hungor (“hunger, desire; famine”), from Proto-Germanic *hungruz, *hunhruz (“hunger”), from Proto-Indo-European *kenk- (“to burn, smart, desire, hunger, thirst”). Compare Dutch honger, German and Low German Hunger, Swedish hunger.
hunger (plural hungers)
- A need or compelling desire for food.
- (by extension) Any strong desire.
- I have a hunger to win.
- O sacred hunger of ambitious minds!
The phrase be hungry is more common than have hunger to express a need for food.
- To be in need of food.
- (figuratively) To have a desire (for); to long; to yearn.
- I hungered for your love.
- Bible, Matthew v. 6
- Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.
- (archaic) To make hungry; to famish.
hunger c (uncountable)