HUNGRY in sign language

How to sign "hungry" in American Sign Language (ASL)?

Definition: Having a desire, craving, or need for food.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant "C" hand, fingers and thumb in contact with upper chest, palm facing in, slides down the chest.

ASL student tip: not to confuse this HUNGRY signed word with the similar signed words for WISH, HUNGARY.

Beyond basics

How to sign when one's stomach growls? Sign with the "R" handshape, shaking while moving away from your belly.


Synonyms: empty-bellied, FAMISHED, STARVED.

Antonym: FULL as in meal.

Related signs: EAT, THIRSTY.

Minimal pairs

Same handshape, palm orientation, location but different movement: COUGH (variation with the "C" handshape), COMPLAIN.

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL written for HUNGRY

The top digit represents a shoulder. Below it depicts the big C handshape. The line with a dot means the movement of the hand.

ASL digit written and contributed by Adrean Clark in the ASLwrite community, 2017.

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