Definition of hunker in English:


Line breaks: hun¦ker
Pronunciation: /ˈhʌŋkə


  • 1 [no object] Squat or crouch down low: he hunkered down beside her
    More example sentences
    • The stench of sulfur filled the air as I dragged myself across the scree and hunkered behind a dark boulder.
    • I stay hunkered behind the teacher's desk, next to an open window.
    • I hunkered lower down in my seat and tried to pretend that I couldn't speak English.
  • 1.1Bend the top of one’s body forward; hunch: she hunkered over the heater
    More example sentences
    • Flash forward three years, and she is hunkering down over coffee to talk about her life and the theatre, once again.
    • One cold day, I hunkered over some on a park bench.
    • As they spend more time hunkered over their computers, they neglect family, friends and jobs.
  • 2 (hunker down) Apply oneself seriously to a task: students hunkered down to prepare for the examinations
    More example sentences
    • I then hunkered down and got real serious, knowing I was going to have to fly the best instrument approach of my life.
    • The precious dialogue is sometimes muffled, so that I had to back up a few times and hunker down for serious lip reading.
    • If you are ready to hunker down and get serious, this one's not worth it.


early 18th century: probably related to Dutch huiken and German hocken.

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