hun·​ker | \ ˈhəŋ-kər How to pronounce hunker (audio) \
hunkered; hunkering\ ˈhəŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hunkering (audio) \

Definition of hunker

intransitive verb

1 : crouch, squat usually used with down
2 : to settle in or dig in for a sustained period used with downhunker down for a good long waitNew Yorker

Examples of hunker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The only information available for now about the visit by the national tour are the dates the musical will hunker down in Baltimore: June 8 through July 3, 2021. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "If you missed seeing Hamilton in Baltimore this summer, here’s when you’ll have another chance," 10 Dec. 2019 Chicagoans hunkering down to endure another bout of below-freezing temperatures should remember that even though their pets are covered in fur, animals need help staying safe in frigid weather. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "Chicagoans may be ready for real winter cold, but are their pets? A guide to keeping animals safe during a polar chill," 9 Dec. 2019 Whatever their dress — suit, sari, head scarf — people looked huddled and hunkered down. Katy Lederer, New York Times, "Meet the Leftish Economist With a New Story About Capitalism," 26 Nov. 2019 Denver hunkered down Tuesday as heavy snow slammed the region and made travel next to impossible during one of the busiest holiday travel weeks of the year. Shelly Bradbury, The Denver Post, "Denver weathers heavy snow on a busy travel day," 26 Nov. 2019 November is National Novel Writing Month, a time when people hunker down to churn out 50,000 words in a span of weeks. Wired, "Text-Savvy AI Is Here to Write Fiction," 23 Nov. 2019 Matt Ysteboe was hurt Friday while hunkering down after a man fired a gun toward officers. USA TODAY, "Bye-bye to Bei Bei, reverse bank robbery, squirrel survey: News from around our 50 states," 18 Nov. 2019 Hong Kong police on Monday stormed Polytechnic University where anti-government protesters have hunkered down for days amid violent clashes with police. Fox News, "Hong Kong police storm Polytechnic University as protesters set fires to entrance," 18 Nov. 2019 This gives them plenty of time to shut down the systems that cause active growing and hunker down for the winter with their leaf buds fully insulated by a thick outer shell. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Bonnie Blodgett: Living and (hands-on) learning with my Japanese larch," 16 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hunker.' 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 hunker

1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hunker

probably akin to Middle Dutch hucken, huken to squat, Middle Low German hōken to squat, peddle, Old Norse hūka to squat

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Time Traveler for hunker

Time Traveler

The first known use of hunker was in 1720

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Statistics for hunker

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hunker.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hunker


How to pronounce hunker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hunker

chiefly US : to lower your body to the ground by bending your legs


hun·​ker | \ ˈhəŋ-kər How to pronounce hunker (audio) \
hunkered; hunkering

Kids Definition of hunker

: crouch entry 1 She hunkered in the tall grass.
hunker down
: to settle in for a long time He hunkered down for the winter.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hunker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hunker

Nglish: Translation of hunker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunker for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hunker

What made you want to look up hunker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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