Definition of hunker in English:

Share this entry


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.

Words that rhyme with hunker

bunker, lunker, punkah, spelunker
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.