[ hang-ker ]
/ ˈhæŋ kər /

verb (used without object)

to have a restless or incessant longing (often followed by after, for, or an infinitive).

Nearby words

  1. hangzhou bay,
  2. hania,
  3. hanifah,
  4. haniwa,
  5. hank,
  6. hankering,
  7. hankeringly,
  8. hankou,
  9. hankow,
  10. hanks

Origin of hanker

1595–1605; < early Dutch dialect hankeren (cognate with Dutch hunkeren), frequentative of hangen to hang

See yearn.

Related formshan·ker·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hankered

British Dictionary definitions for hankered


/ (ˈhæŋkə) /


(foll by for, after, or an infinitive) to have a yearning (for something or to do something)
Derived Formshankering, noun

Word Origin for hanker

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

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