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Meaning of bear hug

bear' hug"

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a forcefully or heartily tight embrace.
  2. a hold in which one contestant locks both arms around the other from the front in order to make the opponent fall backward.

bear-hug

Pronunciation: (bâr'hug"), [key]
— -hugged, -hug•ging.
  1. to greet with or hold in a bear hug: eager fans bear-hugging the victorious team.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.