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90s Slang You Should Know


[hang-ker] /ˈhæŋ kər/
verb (used without object)
to have a restless or incessant longing (often followed by after, for, or an infinitive).
Origin of hanker
early Dutch dialect
1595-1605; < early Dutch dialect hankeren (cognate with Dutch hunkeren), frequentative of hangen to hang
Related forms
hankerer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hankered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That was why I had never been satisfied with cooking and dishwashing; that was why I had hankered to run naked in the moonlight.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • Lessons were the very last thing in the world that we hankered for.

  • This was how Manamandhla obtained the beef he hankered after—and plenty of it.

  • She hankered after her beautiful Freudenthal, and she dreamed of returning thither.

    A German Pompadour Marie Hay
  • She never summered in soft Sapphic seas, nor hankered after poetic Leucadian promontories.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • This was the agent for whom the Government of Egypt hankered.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • I hankered after it in my teens, and once out of them it was too late.

    Hurricane Island H. B. Marriott Watson
  • And I hankered, I jest hankered, after bein' praised up as she was.

    Sweet Cicely Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
  • I guess nobody ever hankered after gettin' stiff j'ints an' losin' their eyesight an' so.

    Country Neighbors Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for hankered


foll by for, after, or an infinitive. to have a yearning (for something or to do something)
Derived Forms
hankering, noun
Word Origin
C17: probably from Dutch dialect hankeren
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 hankered



c.1600, of unknown origin, probably from Flemish hankeren, related to Dutch hunkeren "to hanker," of unknown origin; perhaps an intensive of Middle Dutch hangen "to hang" (see hang (v.)). If so, the notion is of "lingering about" with longing or craving. Related: Hankered; hankering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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