Etymology
Advertisement
hunt (v.)

Old English huntian "chase game" (transitive and intransitive), perhaps developed from hunta "hunter," and related to hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *huntojan (source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize, capture," Old High German hunda "booty"), which is of uncertain origin.

Not the usual Germanic word for this, which is represented by Dutch jagen, German jagen (see yacht (n.)). General sense of "search diligently" (for anything) is recorded from c. 1200. Related: Hunted; hunting. To hunt (something) up "search for until found" is from 1791. Parlor game hunt the slipper is attested from 1766.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hunt (n.)
early 12c., "act of chasing game," from hunt (v.). Old English had huntung, huntoþ. Meaning "body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "act of searching for someone or something" is from c. 1600.
Related entries & more 
witch hunt (n.)

1853 in the literal sense (witch-hunting is from 1630s), from witch (n.) + hunt (n.). The extended sense is attested from 1919, American English, later re-popularized in reaction to Cold War anti-Communism.

Senator [Lee S.] Overman. What do you mean by witch hunt?
Mr. [Raymond] Robins. I mean this, Senator. You are familiar with the old witch-hunt attitude, that when people get frightened at things and see bogies, then they get out witch proclamations, and mob action and all kinds of hysteria takes place. ["Bolshevik Propaganda," U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings, 1919]
Related entries & more 
huntsman (n.)
1560s, from genitive of hunt (n.) + man (n.).
Related entries & more 
overhunt (v.)

also over-hunt, "to hunt too much, so as to unduly diminish the stock or supply of," 1862, from over- + hunt (v.). Related: Overhunted; overhunting.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hunter (n.)

"one who engages in the chase of game or other wild animals," mid-13c. (attested in place names from late 12c.), from hunt + -er (1). The Old English word was hunta, Middle English hunte. The hunter's moon (1710) is the next full moon after the harvest moon.

Related entries & more 
hunting (n.)
modification of Old English huntung "a hunt, chase; what is hunted, game," verbal noun from hunt (v.). Bartlett (1848) notes it as the word commonly used by sportsmen in the Southern states of the U.S. where in the North they use gunning. Happy hunting-grounds "Native American afterlife paradise" is from "Last of the Mohicans" (1826); hunting-ground in a Native American context is from 1777.
Related entries & more 
hint (n.)
c. 1600 (Shakespeare), "an indirect suggestion intended to be caught by the knowing," apparently from obsolete hent, from Middle English hinten "to tell, inform" (c. 1400), from Old English hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *hantijan (source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize"), related to hunt (v.). OED dates the sense "small piece of practical information" to 1777.
Related entries & more 
venison (n.)
c. 1300, from Old French venesoun "meat of large game," especially deer or boar, also "a hunt," from Latin venationem (nominative venatio) "a hunt, hunting, the chase," also "game as the product of the hunt," from venatus, past participle of venari "to hunt, pursue," probably from PIE *wen-a-, from root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."
Related entries & more 
hawk (v.2)
"to hunt with a hawk," mid-14c., from hawk (n.).
Related entries & more