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 As Schafer predicted, Kitty had hunkered down and made a cocoon in the pillows of the bed to protect herself against the raging fire's thick black smoke. Kate Collins, USA TODAY, "Rescue cat returns the favor, alerts sleeping owner to apartment fire," 29 Oct. 2019 When things get truly dangerous, villagers have a choice: hunker down and wait for troopers to arrive by plane or take matters into their own hands. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "After the Last Cop Killed Himself, All the Criminals Have to Do Is Hide," 24 Oct. 2019 And the parrots nest in cavities in the island’s limestone, and no doubt would have hunkered down during the storm. James Gorman, New York Times, "Hurricanes May Kill Some Birds, but Humans Are the Real Threat," 17 Sep. 2019 Downtown has a feeling of being hunkered down and cozied up. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "Bursting with joy over vast landscapes, extensive bike trails and time to enjoy them," 12 Sep. 2019 We were being bombarded by media telling us to hole up, hunker down and hang in. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Home decor: How to make your own placemats," 10 Sep. 2019 We were being bombarded by media telling us to hole up, hunker down and hang in. Marni Jameson,, "How to make rainy-day placemats," 5 Apr. 2019 But many just tied down their boats, removed objects that could blow away from their yards, and hunkered down. Ben Finley, Anchorage Daily News, "Stranded North Carolinians take stock of Dorian’s damage as storm bands reach Nova Scotia," 7 Sep. 2019 After hearing the news about missing girls in her neighborhood, Aziya voluntarily skipped recess and hunkered down indoors to organize the march during the last days of the school year. Sydney Greene, Teen Vogue, "Chicago's Missing Black Women and Girls Prompted Aziya Roberts to Start Organizing," 27 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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Statistics for hunker

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hunker

The first known use of hunker was in 1720

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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

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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