Hygge Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It?

Interested in learning about the meaning of hygge? If so, you’re in the right place! Read on to discover everything you need to know about hygge.

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In the last few years — particularly during the chillier months — you’ve likely come across a certain word: hygge. But do you know what it means? Don’t worry; we’ll give you the scoop!

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the increasingly popular term hygge, including its definition, origin, and more. 

What Is the Definition of Hygge?

Pronounced “hoo-gah,” the Danish word hygge can be confusing to grasp. To help you better understand its meaning, we’ve gathered a few definitions for you to review below:

  • Especially referring to the Danish lifestyle, Dictionary.com defines hygge as the feeling of coziness and contentment evoked by simple comforts. 
  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, hygge is a Danish term for a coziness — AKA, feeling warm, comfortable, and safe — that comes from doing simple things such as baking or lighting candles. 
  • The Collins Dictionary defines hygge as the practice of creating cozy and congenial environments that promote emotional wellbeing. 

Although each definition varies slightly, we can conclude that the noun hygge refers to a cozy quality that makes a person feel safe, comfortable, and content. When used as an adjective, hygge can be defined as invoking or fostering a sense of contentment, comfort, coziness, and well-being. 

In simpler terms, the word hygge means cozy and comfortable. 

What Is the Origin of Hygge?

Like the German idea of gemütlichkeit, the Dutch concept of gezelligheid, and the Swedish word mys, the comfy-cozy lifestyle that hygge promotes has been a key part of Danish culture since the early 1800s when the term made its debut in the written language.

That said — and despite what many people believe — the word hygge didn’t originate in the Danish language but in old Norwegian, where it meant something along the lines of “well-being.” 

The Danes have embraced this warm, positive meaning ever since, and today, hygge continues to suggest a general sense of warmth, comfort, charm, simplicity, and community. 

What Are Synonyms and Antonyms of Hygge?

To further your understanding of the word hygge, it can be helpful to learn its synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are words or phrases with similar meanings, while antonyms are words or phrases conveying opposite meanings. 

Synonyms of hygge include:

  • Comfortable 
  • Snug
  • Folksy
  • Warm
  • Relaxed
  • Comfy
  • Content
  • Intimate
  • Luxurious
  • Salubrious
  • Ergonomic
  • Lush
  • Plush
  • Toasty

Antonyms of hygge include:

  • Uncomfortable
  • Troubling
  • Tight
  • Strange
  • Strained
  • Heavy
  • Claustrophobic
  • Unsettling
  • Unnatural
  • Cramped
  • Unease
  • Apathetic
  • Worried
  • Embarrassment
  • Confusion
  • Unhappiness
  • Discontent
  • Displeasure

Examples of Hygge Used in a Sentence

An old Nordic concept that has made its way into the English-speaking world, hygge is much more than simply a feeling. The increasingly popular word may be considered a way of life, a pursuit, or an aspiration. 

Now that you understand what the word hygge means, quiz yourself to see how many times you can properly use the word of the day in a sentence. If you need some help, check out our example sentences below:

Have you read The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, the CEO of a Copenhagen think tank called the Happiness Research Institute?

Hygge is the Holy Grail of coziness in Scandinavian culture.

Believe it or not, the Collins English Dictionary named hygge the runner-up of word of the year in 2016, after Brexit.

Did you know that the Danish word hygge may derive from Old Norse?

The New Yorker had an article about hygge featuring cozy sweaters next to a cup of tea in what appeared to be a living room.

When I think of the word hygge, I imagine myself getting snug-as-a-bug to a good rom-com with some Swedish Fish and soda pop.

I love that there’s a fireplace and how hygge it is!

His concept of hygge is a perfect haven on those especially gloomy winter days.

If you ask me, food is pretty central to hygge because it brings a sense of togetherness around the dinner table.

Okay, so you’re saying dark and dramatic is the new hygge?

How to Hygge Your Life

Wondering how to hygge your life? Here are a few tips:

  • Spend quality time with loved ones
  • Avoid multi-tasking
  • Remove stressors
  • Enjoy the simple things
  • Leave work at a reasonable time
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Go outside and take in the sunshine
  • Have a game night
  • Light more candles
  • Stay in bed
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Get a crackling fire going
  • Banish clutter
  • Take a deep breathe and smile


Like a perfect cup of grandma’s homemade hot cocoa topped with tiny marshmallows, some words have the power to make us feel warm on a brisk winter’s day. Hygge is the epitome of these types of comfy-cozy words.  

The concept of hygge can be traced back to the early 1800s in Denmark, however, the term only just caught on as a lifestyle trend in 2016. The word became so popular that it was included in the Collins Words of the Year.

In short, hygge encompasses a warm, fuzzy feeling of cozy contentment and well-being by enjoying life’s simple things. 


  1. HYGGE : definition in the | Cambridge English Dictionary
  2. Hygge Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com
  3. Hygge definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary