v. hugged, hug·ging, hugs
1. To clasp or hold closely, especially in the arms, as in affection; embrace.
2. To hold steadfastly to; cherish: He still hugs his outmoded beliefs.
3. To stay close to: a sailboat hugging the shore.
To embrace or cling together closely.
1. A close, affectionate embrace.
2. A crushing embrace, as in wrestling.
[Probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hugga, to comfort.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.