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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.
  2. (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.
  3. (bridge) A hesitation during play to think about one's next move.



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

  1. (intransitive) To crowd together.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 4
      During all these operations the apes who had entered sat huddled near the door watching their chief, while those outside strained and crowded to catch a glimpse of what transpired within.
    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.
  3. To get together and discuss a topic.
    • 2012 November 2, Ken Belson, "[1]," 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, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      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 (comparative more huddle, superlative most huddle)

  1. Muted, as if emitted by a huddled embryo
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Library of America, 1985, p.51:
      Gowan snored, each respiration chocking to a huddle fall, as though he would never breathe again.