Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[huhng-ker] /ˈhʌŋ kər/
verb (used without object)
to squat on one's heels (often followed by down).
  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.
Slang. to lumber along; walk or move slowly or aimlessly.
hunkers, one's haunches.
on one's hunkers,
  1. British Informal. squatting on one's heels.
  2. suffering a period of poverty, bad luck, or the like.
Origin of hunker
1710-20; apparently hunk (perhaps nasalized variant of huck haunch; akin to Old Norse hūka to crouch) + -er6 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for hunkering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do you remember how the child you once were sat in the brae, spinning the peerie, and hunkering at I-dree I-dree I droppit-it?

  • God made man to stand erect on his two feet, but you would be for ever hunkering like a monkey eatin' nuts.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • Then she came round, and, 'hunkering' down beside us, opened her book and in a low voice began to read.

    Betty Grier Joseph Waugh
  • Shann reached the next room in line, hunkering down to see within it.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
British Dictionary definitions for hunkering


(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 hunkering



"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 hunkering

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hunkering