From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhughug1 /hʌɡ/ ●●○ verb (hugged, hugging) [transitive]1HOLDto put your arms around someone and hold them tightly to show love or friendship syn embraceWe stood there crying and hugging each other.She went to her daughter and hugged her tightly.2to put your arms around yourselfhug your knees/arms/legs etcSarah sat on the floor, hugging her knees.hug yourselfShe stood hugging herself against the cold.3NEARto move along the side, edge, top etc of something, staying very close to itThe small boats hugged the coast.4if clotheshug your body, they fit closely → close-fittingbody-/figure-hugginga figure-hugging dress5HOLDto hold something in your arms close to your chestHe was hugging a big pile of books.6 →hug yourself with joy/delight etcGRAMMAR: Reciprocal verbsHug is a reciprocal verb. This type of verb is used when saying that two or more people or things do something that involves both or all of them. It does not need to have an object: She and her friend hugged. In this sentence, hug is intransitive and does not have an object.You can also say: She hugged her friend.She and her friend hugged each other. In these sentences, hug is transitive.THESAURUShug (also give somebody a hug) to put your arms around someone and hold them tightly to show love or friendshipMother hugged him and tucked him into bed.Come here and give me a big hug.embrace to put your arms around someone and hold him or her in a caring way. Embrace is more formal than hugJason warmly embraced his son.The two leaders embraced each other.cuddle to put your arms around someone or something as a sign of love, especially a child or a small animalShe sat on a chair, cuddling her daughter.He cuddled the puppy.put your arms around somebody to hold someone closely to your body, especially to comfort them or show that you love themThe woman put her arms around the sobbing boy.cradle written to hold someone very gently in your arms, like you would hold a babyShe held the baby in her arms.She cradled his head in her hands and kissed him on the forehead→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
hug• ""I'll never forget you, '' she said, and we hugged each other for the last time.• While we were there, Anna Mae came in-she was realhappy to see us, hugging everybody.• She laid her cheek contentedly against his chest, and hugged him back.• She felt to hug him but was afraid to hurt; like a fragilebird, this new scrawny Rab.• Jane threw her arms around him and hugged him tight.• Maisha is so proud she hugs him twice.• My fatherhugged me affectionately when I got home.• She hugged me, and my heartflew into hers.• Diana Dors, the secretobject of the young policeman's desire, hugged Michael long and hard.• They hugged one last time before Renata got into the car and drove off.• After Dunseverik, the pathhugs the clifftop near Brebane Head.• The new road will stretch from Barcelona to the Adriatic, hugging the Mediterraneancoast.• A row of tinyfeedingfish were hugging the rocksurface where I stood.• Graywhaleshug the west coast as they move south.• Follybroke away. ` I shouldn't be hugging you, Jack.hugged ... tightly• I stroked him slowly, then hugged him tightly.• Putting the kettle on the gas, she went to her daughter and hugged her tightly.• She hugged her handbag tightly to her sides, comforted by the thought of the Pathfinderinside.hug your knees/arms/legs etc• Petey finally sat down on the bank and faced the lakehugging his knees.• She leanedforward, hugging her knees.• Wet as a water rat, she sat hugging her knees.• Albert sat, hugging his knees, and staring at nothing.• Robyn hugged her arms around her body.• Joseph hugged his knees by the fire.• She sat in the chair, hugging her knees, staring at Stephen as if he were an enemy.• She retreated back downstairs, and climbed on to the mildewedsofa, hugging her knees up to her chin.hughug2 ●●○ noun [countable]HOLDthe action of putting your arms around someone and holding them tightly to show love or friendship syn embracePaul gave me a big hug.Nesta greeted the visitors with hugs and kisses. →bear hug
Examples from the Corpus
hug• Gracie Mae, he says, coming up to give me a hug.• Give me a hug, then it's time for bed.• Your daughter may need a hug, your son a congratulatory handshake, or vice versa.• In all his life, he had never had such a hug.• His arms tightened around her in a bearhug.• He gave the Bookman a bighug and hoped they would be friends for a long, long time.• Now he found himself playing Kaa, the deafsnake known for the power of his hug.• No older person should ever ask you to keep a kiss, hug or touch, secret.• For the next hour our hugs and tearsoccupied all my attention-but none of that was seen by the public.• My warmestwishes to everyone in the family, and a specialhug for Penny.gave ... hug• She slid closer and gave him a hug, pressing her head into his chest.• I put my arm round him and gave him a hug just like that.• Or else the very following things will happen: This kid came up to me and gave me a hug good night.• He pulled over by Crotona Park, and gave her a hug.