hunker

[huhng-ker]
verb (used without object)
1.
to squat on one's heels (often followed by down ).
2.
Informal.
a.
to hunch: The driver hunkered over the steering wheel.
b.
to hide, hide out, or take shelter (usually followed by down ): The escaped convicts hunkered down in a cave in the mountains.
c.
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,
a.
British Informal. squatting on one's heels.
b.
suffering a period of poverty, bad luck, or the like.

Origin:
1710–20; apparently hunk (perhaps nasalized variant of huck haunch; akin to Old Norse hūka to crouch) + -er6

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hunker (ˈhʌŋkə)
 
vb (often foll by down)
to squat; crouch

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hunker
"to squat, crouch," 1720, Scottish, probably from O.N. huka "to crouch," hoka, hokra "to crawl." Hunker down, Southern U.S. dialectal phrase, popularized c.1965, from northern British hunker "haunch."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
Synonyms
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