A haunch is the back end of an animal — its rump and rear leg. When you walk behind a horse, it's important to stay far enough away from its haunches that you won't get kicked.

You can use the word haunch for the hind parts of a four-legged animal or for the hip and thigh of a person. When you squat like a catcher in baseball, you sit on your haunches, and a cow with an itchy backside might rub its haunch against a fence post. The word stems from hanche, which means "hip or thigh" in Old French, from a Germanic root.

Definitions of haunch
  1. noun
    the loin and leg of a quadruped
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    type of:
    croup, croupe, hindquarters, rump
    the part of an animal that corresponds to the human buttocks
  2. noun
    the hip and buttock and upper thigh in human beings
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    type of:
    body part
    any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
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