squeeze,hug and embrace


Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia as native language
Dear all,

Could you give me some explanation about the usage of the three words to show the different meaning/ context they should be applicable? Can I use for instance: She gave her mother a tight squeeze' instead of 'She gave her mother a tight hug?'

Thank you. :)
  • jamesjiao

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English and Mandarin Chinese
    Squeeze is often used in informal register, e.g. Aww, come on! Let me give you a little squeezy!

    There is really no difference among these words other than the register they are used in.

    'Squeeze' is the most informal, followed by 'hug', then 'embrace', which is the most formal of the three.

    Let's see if others have any different interpretations.

    L'Homme Inconnu

    Senior Member
    English English
    I agree with James - embrace is certainly the most formal, squeeze the least formal.

    I think that hug also give a sense of intimacy - you hug a parent or partner, whereas you would suqeeze a friend.

    Like James has said, the only real difference is the register in which they are used.


    Senior Member
    England English
    Hi Inbetween,
    Simple answer: yes you can.
    But I wouldn't.

    The problem is, squeeze can have too many other connotations. If you "put a squeeze on someone," for example, it is a bit negative: as though you pressing him to repay a loan, or something. I would stay with hug.

    In normal BE usage, one would say "She gave her mother a big hug."

    You can also use embrace, but in this context it would be a bit "formal." Embrace is a word you might use, formally or informally, to describe lovers, but not usually mother and daughter. It implies something too intimate.

    Does that help?
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