hunker

[ huhng-ker ]
/ ˈhʌŋ kər /
||

verb (used without object)

to squat on one's heels (often followed by down).
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.
Slang. to lumber along; walk or move slowly or aimlessly.

noun

hunkers, one's haunches.

Idioms

    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

Definition for hunkers (2 of 2)

Hunker

[ huhng-ker ]
/ ˈhʌŋ kər /

noun

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for hunkers

British Dictionary definitions for hunkers (1 of 2)

hunkers

/ (ˈhʌŋkəz) /

pl n

haunches

Word Origin for hunkers

C18: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for hunkers (2 of 2)

hunker

/ (ˈhʌŋkə) /

verb

(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