han·​ker | \ ˈhaŋ-kər How to pronounce hanker (audio) \
hankered; hankering\ ˈhaŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hankering (audio) \

Definition of hanker

intransitive verb

: to have a strong or persistent desire : yearn often used with for or after

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Other Words from hanker

hankerer \ ˈhaŋ-​kər-​ər How to pronounce hankerer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hanker

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain. longed for some rest yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing. yearned for a stage career hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire. always hankering for money pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible. pined for a lost love hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need. hungered for a business of his own thirsted for power

Examples of hanker in a Sentence

By the middle of the winter, they were hankering for a warm day.

Recent Examples on the Web

Prime Day is also a great time to buy anything you’ve been hankering after that Amazon itself makes. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2019," 12 July 2019 All other coaches in this competition would hanker for a front triumvirate of Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "France vs. USA: 'A magnificent showcase' for the Women's World Cup," 28 June 2019 Despite Covenant and Prometheus (2012) being fascinating extensions of Scott’s original Alien (1979), audiences are still hankering for a reboot/sequel (requel) that falls closer to Aliens (1986). Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hunger Games' and the Pitfalls of a Prequel," 22 June 2019 Government shutdowns are almost routine now Trump has been hankering for another shutdown ever since the last one ended. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Why the blame game over the government shutdown is pointless," 21 Dec. 2018 Jimmy Graham: Aaron Rodgers has been hankering for those chess piece tight ends the last couple seasons, first Jared Cook, then Martellus Bennett, now Graham. Gary Gramling, SI.com, "David Johnson Is No. 2, Be Patient and Wait for Luck and Mahomes, the Non-Saquon Rookie You Want," 6 July 2018 This is wishful thinking, confusing what activists are hankering for with what marginal Democratic voters might want. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Especially with visitors hankering for the perfectly Instagrammable roadside shot, or an indulgent plate of chicken and waffles. Marie Salcido, Sunset, "A Beloved Wine Country Diner Has Closed its Doors," 22 Jan. 2018 Known by affectionate nicknames like Quiz Daddy or Trap Trebek, Rogowsky—and his puns—are a big part of why so many people hanker for their HQ Trivia fix each day. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hanker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hanker

1627, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hanker

probably from Dutch dialect hankeren

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hank for hank


Statistics for hanker

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for hanker

The first known use of hanker was in 1627

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More Definitions for hanker



English Language Learners Definition of hanker

informal + old-fashioned : to have a strong or constant desire for something


han·​ker | \ ˈhaŋ-kər How to pronounce hanker (audio) \
hankered; hankering

Kids Definition of hanker

: to have a great desire I'm hankering for chocolate.

More from Merriam-Webster on hanker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hanker

Spanish Central: Translation of hanker

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