- to squat on one's heels (often followed by down).
- to hunch: The driver hunkered over the steering wheel.
- to hide, hide out, or take shelter (usually followed by down): The escaped convicts hunkered down in a cave in the mountains.
- 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,
- British Informal.squatting on one's heels.
- suffering a period of poverty, bad luck, or the like.
Origin of hunker
- a member of the conservative faction in the Democratic Party in New York State, 1845–48.
Origin of Hunker
Examples from the Web for hunker
When life gets traumatic do you prefer to hunker down and grieve in private, or open up to others?Psychologists View Both Divorce and Marriage as Major Life Stresses
May 12, 2014
“The news is slanting in different directions,” Tom complains as he and Vickie hunker down in a bar.No Fireworks on Al Jazeera America’s Plodding Debut
August 21, 2013
But I had to hunker down and do my job, live shot after live shot.There’s No Crying in Journalism—Even After the Horrifying Connecticut School Shootings
December 16, 2012
“Hunker down” was also the advice given—though much more avuncularly—by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.Which Politician Best Navigated Hurricane Sandy’s Surge?
October 31, 2012
Ignoring warnings to hunker down, determined New Yorkers go about their business—and hit the bars.As Sandy Heads for NYC, Brooklyn Locals Jog, Ogle—and Get Drunk
October 29, 2012
They had struck it rich on a property they had bought on Hunker.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Hunker reported that they had discovered no trace of the missing man.Frank Merriwell's Son
Burt L. Standish
"I was going over to Hunker Creek myself," concluded Wodley.To Alaska for Gold
There was a political meeting (Hunker) at the capitol, but I pass'd it by.Complete Prose Works
The silver-gray whig shakes hands with the hunker democrat; the former only differing from the latter in name.My Bondage and My Freedom
- (intr often foll by down) to squat; crouch
Word Origin and History for hunker
"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.