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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.
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British Dictionary definitions for hunker down

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
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Word Origin and History for hunker down
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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Slang definitions & phrases for hunker down

hunker down

verb phrase
  1. (also hunker) To squat on one's haunches: He heads for the inevitable mariachi square, hunkers down in the dark, wet and shivering/ Fiona had just hunkered down, abandoned all caution/ Jon was hunkered in the dark, silently chain-smoking (1720+)
  2. To get into the mood and posture for hard work: Now that summer's gone we must hunker down and get that report finished (1970s+)
  3. To take a sturdy defensive attitude; become hard to move: As the public responds, the defense lawyers hunker down/ ''We'll just have to hunker down,'' said Jody Powell (1970s+)

[fr southern US fr northern British dialect hunker, ''haunch'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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