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Hungry vs. Hangry: What's the Difference?

By Janet White & Harlon Moss || Updated on May 22, 2024
Hungry describes the physical need for food, while hangry combines hunger with anger caused by low blood sugar.

Key Differences

Hungry is a basic physiological state indicating the need for food. When someone is hungry, they feel a physical sensation in their stomach and may experience a drop in energy levels. Hangry, on the other hand, is a colloquial term combining "hungry" and "angry." It describes the irritability or anger one feels due to hunger. When someone is hangry, their mood is negatively affected because of the low blood sugar levels that accompany hunger.
While hungry is a straightforward descriptor of a need for food, hangry encompasses an emotional response to that need. Hungry can affect anyone at any time when food intake is low, whereas hangry specifically refers to the emotional impact of hunger on a person's demeanor.
Hungry is a common and widely recognized term in both formal and informal contexts. Hangry, although informal, has gained popularity and is frequently used in casual conversations to humorously describe the irritability associated with hunger.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Adjective (informal)


Physical need for food
Irritability or anger due to hunger


Describing a physiological state
Describing an emotional state caused by hunger


Formal and informal
Informal and casual

Example Sentence

I feel hungry after my workout.
She gets hangry if she skips lunch.

Hungry and Hangry Definitions


Feeling the need or desire for food.
I am hungry after the long hike.


Feeling irritable due to lack of food.
She became hangry when the meeting ran late.


Experiencing discomfort due to lack of food.
The children were hungry after playing all day.


Informal term for anger resulting from hunger.
He apologized for being hangry during the argument.


Having a strong desire or craving for something.
He is hungry for success.


Characterizing frustration linked to being hungry.
The long wait made everyone hangry.


Describing a state where food intake is necessary.
He became tired and hungry by midday.


Combining hunger with anger or irritability.
His hangry outburst was resolved with a snack.


Experiencing a desire or need for food.


Describing mood swings caused by low blood sugar.
Kids often get hangry before dinner time.


Extremely desirous; avid
Hungry for recognition.


(slang) Hungry and angry, especially when the anger is induced by the hunger.


Characterized by or expressing hunger or craving
Hungry eyes.


Lacking richness or fertility
Hungry soil.


Affected by hunger; having the physical need for food.
My kids go to bed hungry every night because I haven’t got much money for food.
I woke up very hungry and made some toast.


Causing hunger.
All this gardening is hungry work.


(figuratively) Eager, having an avid desire (‘appetite’) for something.
The students are hungry to learn
Young and hungry


Not rich or fertile; poor; barren; starved.
A hungry soil


Feeling hunger; having a keen appetite; feeling uneasiness or distress from want of food; hence, having an eager desire.


Showing hunger or a craving desire; voracious.
The cruel, hungry foam.
Cassius has a lean and hungry look.


Not rich or fertile; poor; barren; starved; as, a hungry soil.


Feeling hunger; feeling a need or desire to eat food;
A world full of hungry people


(usually followed by `for') extremely desirous;
Athirst for knowledge
Hungry for recognition
Thirsty for informaton


Indicating the body's requirement for nourishment.
Her stomach growled because she was hungry.


What does hangry mean?

Hangry describes being irritable or angry due to hunger.

Can you be hungry without being hangry?

Yes, you can be hungry without feeling angry.

How do you use hungry in a sentence?

e.g., I am hungry and need to eat something.

Can children experience hangry?

Yes, children can also feel hangry when they are hungry.

Is there a difference between hunger and hangry?

Yes, hunger is a physical need for food, while hangry includes irritability.

What does hungry mean?

Hungry means feeling the need for food.

Is hangry a real word?

Yes, hangry is an informal word recognized for describing hunger-induced irritability.

Is hangry used in formal writing?

No, hangry is typically used in informal contexts.

What causes hangry feelings?

Hangry feelings are caused by low blood sugar from not eating.

Can hangry be prevented?

Yes, eating regular meals can help prevent feeling hangry.

What are signs of being hungry?

Signs include stomach growling, weakness, and desire for food.

How can you alleviate being hangry?

Eating quickly can help reduce hangry feelings.

How do you use hangry in a sentence?

e.g., She gets hangry if she misses her afternoon snack.

Is hangry a medical term?

No, hangry is not a medical term but describes a common phenomenon.

How can you alleviate hunger?

Eating food alleviates hunger.

Do all people get hangry?

Not everyone gets hangry, but many do when they are very hungry.

Why is hangry a popular term?

Hangry is popular because it humorously describes a common experience.

Is hangry recognized by psychologists?

Yes, psychologists recognize the emotional impact of low blood sugar associated with hangry feelings.

Can being hangry affect relationships?

Yes, being hangry can lead to irritability that affects interactions.

What are signs of being hangry?

Signs include irritability, impatience, and frustration.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Co-written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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