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 Sweaty, tired and hankering for something to eat other than trail mix, the final leg of a hike — the light at the end of the tunnel — holds the promise of relief, celebration and maybe a cold beer. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Plea to hikers: Post-coronavirus, don't flood the usual Arizona trails. Try a quieter path," 24 Apr. 2020 Even those not joining family and friends for a feast seem to hanker for the traditional flavors of the day, said McCabe. BostonGlobe.com, "It’s a sentiment echoed by Kerri Wimberly at Wilson Farm in Lexington.," 22 Nov. 2019 Internally, such a production is most likely to appeal to more-experienced opera-goers, who more often are the types hankering for something new. Nicholas M. Gallagher, National Review, "Figaro in Kentucky," 21 Mar. 2020 They were rewarded with bellies full of chicken and a hankering for raw kale and Pepto-Bismol. Jenn Harrisstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "The Bucket List: We ranked the best fast-food fried chicken in Los Angeles," 25 Feb. 2020 Few voters are hankering to own the means of production in suburban Philadelphia or Milwaukee, where the presidential election will probably be decided. The Economist, "America’s presidential election The Democratic primaries will be a contest between radicals and repairers," 6 Feb. 2020 As with every emerging great power, China’s hankering to exert its influence is growing along with its stature. The Economist, "The superpower split Don’t be fooled by the trade deal between America and China," 2 Jan. 2020 The bad news for any team hankering to take swings in that bandbox is, well, [gestures at the section about Verlander and Cole and Greinke]. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Good Luck Stopping the Astros in October," 26 Sep. 2019 West Valley residents hankering to play blackjack near home won't have to wait much longer. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Much bigger Desert Diamond Casino near Glendale hiring 1,300 now for February opening," 19 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for hanker

Time Traveler

The first known use of hanker was in 1627

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Statistics for hanker

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hanker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hanker. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for hanker


How to pronounce hanker (audio)

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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