follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

hunker

[huhng-ker] /ˈhʌŋ kər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to squat on one's heels (often followed by down).
2.
Informal.
  1. to hunch:
    The driver hunkered over the steering wheel.
  2. to hide, hide out, or take shelter (usually followed by down):
    The escaped convicts hunkered down in a cave in the mountains.
  3. to hold resolutely or stubbornly to a policy, opinion, etc., when confronted by criticism, opposition, or unfavorable circumstances (usually followed by down):
    Though all the evidence was against him, he hunkered down and refused to admit his guilt.
3.
Slang. to lumber along; walk or move slowly or aimlessly.
noun
4.
hunkers, one's haunches.
Idioms
5.
on one's hunkers,
  1. British Informal. squatting on one's heels.
  2. suffering a period of poverty, bad luck, or the like.
Origin
1710-1720
1710-20; apparently hunk (perhaps nasalized variant of huck haunch; akin to Old Norse hūka to crouch) + -er6
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for hunkered
  • The troops were in open-top trenches and they hunkered in the bottom of them.
  • Companies hunkered down after the credit crisis, taking out bank loans when they could.
  • He set up a shelter, hid a remote-controlled camera in a tree, and hunkered down for eleven days.
  • He worked himself down to a wider outcropping and hunkered there with his back against the limestone and his eyes closed.
  • Here, the stranded pioneers built cabins and hunkered down for the winter.
  • It was raining and shop owners hunkered down into their little shops carved into the walls of the maze.
  • Amid the violence, the oil companies have hunkered down in silence.
  • And yet hunkered down as they are, they might conceivably outlast such trifling interludes as ice ages.
  • Each construct is hunkered inside an individual well where the blood cells mingle with the faux tissue.
  • When she's hunkered down at home, high glamour takes a back seat to stylish comfort.
British Dictionary definitions for hunkered

hunker

/ˈhʌŋkə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) often foll by down. to squat; crouch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hunkered

hunker

v.

"to squat, crouch," 1720, Scottish, of uncertain origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse huka "to crouch," hoka, hokra "to crawl." Hunker down, Southern U.S. dialectal phrase, popularized c.1965, from northern British hunker "haunch." Related: Hunkered; hunkering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hunker

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hunkered

16
17
Scrabble Words With Friends