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

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Examples of hunker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As most of us hunker down for a quieter-than-usual week between Christmas and New Year's, now's the perfect time to clear our homes of the clutter that's holding us back. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "What To Get Rid Of Before The New Year Starts," 28 Dec. 2020 They were isolated in their apartments for weeks, unable to visit the team's Blaine facility, instructed to hunker down at home until individual and small-group training was allowed in starting in May. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "A long, strange Minnesota United season heads to the MLS playoffs," 21 Nov. 2020 Forced to hunker down at home, more people are setting up coops and raising their own chickens, which provide an earthy hobby, animal companionship and a steady supply of fresh eggs. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "‘Diddy’ delivers, chicken coops, New Year’s Eve restrictions: News from around our 50 states," 31 Dec. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic is propelling one new American pastime to new heights, with more people forced to hunker down at home setting up coops and raising chickens in their backyards. CBS News, "Pandemic boosts demand for backyard poultry flocks," 30 Dec. 2020 After a string of embarrassing losses, Son forced the firm to hunker down. Michelle Toh, CNN, "SoftBank joins Wall Street's latest craze in hunt for acquisitions," 22 Dec. 2020 That’s a question for the ages here in the Pacific Northwest, where the rainy season regularly forces us to hunker down indoors. oregonlive, "How to stay active during the wet and dreary season: Peak Northwest podcast," 26 Nov. 2020 But as people ventured out and cases began to rise again, many of those same local governments have warned residents of the need to hunker down and avoid holiday gatherings, yet haven’t reinstated the safety mandates that saved lives six months ago. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Why You Can Eat in a Restaurant but Can’t Have Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2020 And as the nation staggers under its most crushing wave yet, San Francisco is better positioned than most places to hunker down and dodge another surge. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Nov. 6-12," 22 Nov. 2020

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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hunker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on hunker

Nglish: Translation of hunker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hunker for Arabic Speakers

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