from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The hip, buttock, and upper thigh in humans and animals.
  • n. The loin and leg of a four-footed animal, especially as used for food: a haunch of venison.
  • n. Architecture Either of the sides of an arch, curving down from the apex to an impost.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The area encompassing the upper thigh, hip and buttocks on one side of a human, primate, or quadruped animal, especially one that is able to sit on its hindquarters.
  • n. The loin and leg of a quadruped, especially when used as food.
  • n. A squat vertical support structure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The hip; the projecting region of the lateral parts of the pelvis and the hip joint; the hind part.
  • n. Of meats: The leg and loin taken together.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To throw, as a stone, from the hand by jerking it against the haunch.
  • n. The fleshy part of the body, in men and quadrupeds, above the thigh, pertaining to each hipjoint and wing of the pelvis; the hip: as, a haunch of venison; the haunches of a horse.
  • n. The coxa or basal joint of the legs in insects and spiders.
  • n. The rear; the hind part.
  • n. The jamb or upright post of a door. See jamb.
  • n. In architecture, the middle part between the vertex or crown and the springing of an arch — sometimes used to include the spandrel or part of it; the flank. Also haunching.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the hip and buttock and upper thigh in human beings
  • n. the loin and leg of a quadruped


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English haunche, from Old French hanche, from Frankish *hanka.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from a Germanic source, probably Frankish.


  • Considering she called me “Hyatt” when she phoned with the appointment time, my haunch is my name got messed up on the file, which subsequently was misfiled – another insignificant medical error.

    Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt » 2007 » May

  • The hip bones are large, irregularly shaped bones, very firm and strong, and are sometimes called the haunch bones or _ossa innominata_

    A Practical Physiology

  • The lettering in this figure is as follows: -- T, tenons; the small piece of the tenon lettered J is called the haunch, and the shaded portion H is cut away to allow the haunch J to fit the haunching of the stile.

    Woodwork Joints How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used.

  • The short portion (A) which is left on the tenon is called the haunch, and the cavity it engages is termed the haunching.

    Woodwork Joints How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used.

  • The haunch is the prime joint, its perfection depending on the greater or less depth of the fat on it.

    The Story of Crisco

  • Two old women were cutting meat off the haunch, meaning to dry it, and two young men, probably the ones who had stolen the horses, had caught another and were preparing to cut its throat.

    Lonesome Dove

  • "Bring up the little bag with the tea and a kettle of water," he called the next instant to his boatmen; "not forgetting the haunch of cariboo and the mixing-pan."


  • Curiously, in Dreams, Obama also remembers seeing a boy sitting “on the back of a dumb-faced water buffalo, whipping its haunch with a stick of bamboo.”

    Deconstructing Obama

  • We'd seen the bike last week at the neighbor's, where it rested on its kick stand and all but swung its haunch in hipness.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Test for doneness by sticking an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of a rear haunch. 140 degrees is ideal if you like your pork medium-well and juicy.

    The Pig Event


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  • The fog comes

    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking

    over harbor and city

    on silent haunches

    and then, moves on.

    - Carl Sandburg, 'Fog'.

    November 3, 2008