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 down hunker down for a good long waitNew Yorker

Examples of hunker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But Americans hunkered down on spending last month, a puzzle for an economy that leans heavily on their willingness to consume. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Weak Consumer Spending Presents a Puzzle," 14 Mar. 2018 But watching someone hunker down behind a wooden box for five minutes isn’t all that entertaining. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Online’s battle royale mode is slow, tense, and nothing like Fortnite," 29 Nov. 2018 Well, those who stay are going to have to be hunkered down for the next 48 hours. Fox News, "Coast Guard commandant talks Florence rescue efforts," 14 Sep. 2018 The two were making their dejected way home but, having missed their respective flights, were hunkering down for the night. David Margolick, Time, "The Mysterious Woman Who Could Answer a Key Question About RFK's Legacy—If Only We Could Find Her," 5 June 2018 At one point, one of the males hunkered down in the woods. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Teens cited for running around naked with squirt guns — this time in Brookfield," 14 May 2018 Vacationers can hunker down at working farms and ranches throughout the United States. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "Agriturismo, American style: 8 farm and food experiences in the USA," 15 June 2018 Republicans and Democrats appeared to harden their positions on Sunday as both sides hunkered down for what could be a prolonged fight, with a U.S. government shutdown in its second day. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Government shutdown halts Mammoth Cave tours," 22 Jan. 2018 Feel free to hunker down in front of Netflix with a cup of You Go, Glenn (Hot) Cocoa in one hand and an eyeshadow brush in the other. Leah Prinzivalli, Teen Vogue, "Hot Topic Is Selling a “Mean Girls” Eyeshadow Palette," 3 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near hunker





hunker down



Statistics for hunker

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hunker

The first known use of hunker was in 1720

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More Definitions for hunker



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

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