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See also: Huddle



From Middle English *hudelen, alteration (due to hudels, hidels (hiding place), see hiddle) of *huderen, hoderen (to cover; press together; huddle), a frequentative form of Middle English huden, hiden (to hide), equivalent to hide +‎ -le and/or hide +‎ -er. Compare Low German huderken (to brood; coddle; nurse; lull children to sleep).


  • IPA(key): /ˈhʌdəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdəl


huddle (plural huddles)

  1. A dense and disorderly crowd.
    • 2023 May 25, Nic Reuben, “The Lord of the Rings: Gollum review”, in The Guardian[1]:
      It’s about as riveting as listening to a huddle of ents discuss the finer points of deciduous shedding.
  2. (journalism) A session in which a group of journalists assemble to question a person of interest.
  3. (American football) A brief meeting of all the players from one team that are on the field with the purpose of planning the following play.
  4. (bridge) A hesitation during play to think about one's next move.

Derived terms[edit]



huddle (third-person singular simple present huddles, present participle huddling, simple past and past participle huddled)

  1. (intransitive) To crowd together.
    The sheep huddled together seeking warmth.
  2. (intransitive) To curl one's legs up to the chest and keep one's arms close to the torso; to crouch; to assume a position similar to that of an embryo in the womb.
    • 1950 January, David L. Smith, “A Runaway at Beattock”, in Railway Magazine, page 54:
      Just south of Wamphray station they overtook the runaway. The dim figure of Mitchell could be seen sitting huddled behind the stormboard. They shouted and whistled. He paid no attention.
  3. To get together and discuss a topic.
    • 2012 November 2, Ken Belson, New York Times, retrieved 2 November 2012:
      George Hirsch, chairman of the board of Road Runners, said officials huddled all day Friday, hoping to devise an alternate race. They considered replacing the marathon with a race that would comprise the final 10 miles of marathon, starting at the base of the Queensboro 59th Street Bridge on the Manhattan side. But that was not deemed plausible, Mr. Hirsch said.
  4. (intransitive, American football) To form a huddle.
  5. (transitive) To crowd (things) together; to mingle confusedly; to assemble without order or system.
  6. (transitive) To do, make, or put, in haste or roughly; hence, to do imperfectly; usually with a following preposition or adverb (huddle on, huddle up, huddle together).
    • 1845, John Henry Newman, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine:
      Huddle up a peace.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Let him forecast his work with timely care, / Which else is huddled when the skies are fair.
    • 1728, Jonathan Swift, The Journal of a Modern Lady:
      Now, in all haste, they huddle on / Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
      This resolution she accordingly executed; and the next morning before the sun, she huddled on her cloaths, and at a very unfashionable, unseasonable, unvisitable hour, went to Lady Bellaston []
  7. (bridge, intransitive) To hesitate during play while thinking about one's next move.



huddle (not comparable)

  1. Huddled, confused, congested.
    • 1601, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [i.e., Pliny the Elder], “[Book VII.] XII. Examples of many that have been very like and resembled one another.”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Historie of the World. Commonly Called, The Naturall Historie of C. Plinius Secundus. [], 1st tome, London: [] Adam Islip, published 1635, →OCLC, page 162:
      There was in Sicilie a certaine fisherman who resembled in all points Sura the pro-consull, not onely in visage and feature of the face, but also in mowing with his mouth when he spake, in drawing his tongue short, and in his huddle and thicke speech.
    • 1713, Richard Steele, The Guardian, number 21:
      The evangelists are easily distinguished from the rest, by a passionate zeal and love which the painter has thrown in their faces; the huddle group of those who stand most distant, are admirable representations of men abashed with their late unbelief and hardness of heart.
    • 1911, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Library of America, published 1985, page 51:
      Gowan snored, each respiration choking to a huddle fall as though he would never breathe again.