hun·​ker | \ˈhəŋ-kər \
hunkered; hunkering\ˈhəŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ \

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

Yellow caution tape was set up around the cobblestone circle where the birds had hunkered down. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Nesting Bird Nearly Derailed a Canadian Music Festival," 28 June 2018 The Bolsheviks first hit Ust Padenga—a village on the Vaga River where the Americans had hunkered down for the winter—with three days of artillery and machine-gun fire. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 Investigators had urged residents in a sizable swath of Perry Hall to stay hunkered down inside their homes and lock all doors and windows as officers search the community fringed with woodlands. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Suspects in killing of Baltimore County police officer arrested, eyed in burglaries in area," 2 Oct. 2018 The weather in Florida also means that while the rest of the United States is hunkered down for cold temperatures and snow, Miami is the perfect family getaway. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The best things to do with kids in 13 U.S. cities," 27 Aug. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Time, then, to hunker down for a transatlantic trade war? The Economist, "Europe stands up for global trade rules," 26 Apr. 2018 Buzz60 This spring home-buying season should be a coming-out party for Millennials, many of whom are finally ready to make a purchase after hunkering down for years in their parents’ basements or expensive apartments. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Home buying market so brutal, some home buyers make offer sight unseen," 5 Apr. 2018 With bond yields incredibly low, investors can’t reach their goals by hunkering down in ten year Treasury bonds yielding just 2.2%., "Bloomberg Markets: Dietze Sees ‘Puppy Love’ for Portfolios," 1 Sep. 2017 On summery days, customers hunker down with coffee and friends, or with books, phones and laptops, or all of the above. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dining patios proliferate around Milwaukee; a look at some new ones for 2018," 10 July 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

30 Nov 2018

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

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


hun·​ker | \ˈhəŋ-kər \
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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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