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hunkier; hunkiest
: being a hunk : attractive and usually well-built
the film's hunky leading man


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Hun·​ky ˈhəŋ-kē How to pronounce Hunky (audio)
variants or less commonly Hunkie
plural Hunkies
dated, usually disparaging + offensive
: a person of central or east European birth or descent

Examples of hunky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky escaped to Tavarua, a small island resort in Fiji, where the hunky actor took their son on a full-day fishing trip and caught a swordfish big enough to feed the local village, while his Spanish actress-model wife surfed and snorkeled. Beth Landman, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2024 Ethan Peck makes a wonderful – and yes, hunky – Spock. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 Daishi Matsunaga’s adaptation of Makoto Takayama’s novel about a hunky Japanese fashion editor learning to love himself is a frictionless affair. Manuel Betancourt, Variety, 13 Jan. 2024 Having graduated from hunky to hulking — the camera lingering on every vein in his bulging biceps — Efron delivers a career-best performance that stretches well beyond the effective physical transformation. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2023 Curtis Sittenfeld’s lighthearted novel about a sketch comedy TV writer falling for a hunky, John Mayer-esque pop star is a perfect blend of serious and cheesy, romance and pragmatism. Seth Combs, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2023 Confronted with its hunky host, the show resorted to simplistic gender categories. Esther Zuckerman, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2023 Later, Momoa played the hunky ex-fiancé of a woman portrayed by Chloe Fineman. Esther Zuckerman, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2023 Kyle Selig was next to play the hunky football star in the Broadway musical. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hunky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



alteration of Hungarian

First Known Use


1972, in the meaning defined above


circa 1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hunky was circa 1896

Dictionary Entries Near hunky

Cite this Entry

“Hunky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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