hunker

[huhng-ker]
verb (used without object)
  1. to squat on one's heels (often followed by down).
  2. Informal.
    1. to hunch: The driver hunkered over the steering wheel.
    2. to hide, hide out, or take shelter (usually followed by down): The escaped convicts hunkered down in a cave in the mountains.
    3. 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.
  3. Slang. to lumber along; walk or move slowly or aimlessly.
noun
  1. hunkers, one's haunches.
Idioms
  1. on one's hunkers,
    1. British Informal.squatting on one's heels.
    2. suffering a period of poverty, bad luck, or the like.

Origin of hunker

1710–20; apparently hunk (perhaps nasalized variant of huck haunch; akin to Old Norse hūka to crouch) + -er6

Hunker

[huhng-ker]
noun
  1. a member of the conservative faction in the Democratic Party in New York State, 1845–48.

Origin of Hunker

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45; origin uncertain
Related formsHun·ker·ism, nounHun·ker·ous, adjectiveHun·ker·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hunkers

huddle, squat, hunch, cower, wince, grovel, bow, stoop, bend, duck, quail, dip, kneel, quat

Examples from the Web for hunkers

Historical Examples of hunkers


British Dictionary definitions for hunkers

hunkers

pl n
  1. haunches

Word Origin for hunkers

C18: of uncertain origin

hunker

verb
  1. (intr often foll by down) to squat; crouch
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 hunkers

hunker

v.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper