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1. Literally, to squat. The magician hunkered down to make himself eyelevel to the children.
2. To seek refuge in a particular place or area. We hunkered down at home with some movies while the blizzard raged all weekend.
3. To begin to work on something in a determined matter. I can't believe I didn't get an A on my project after I'd hunkered down all weekend to do it!
4. To stubbornly maintain some belief. It seems he's hunkered down and will never see me as anything but the villain in his life.
on (one's) hunkers
With one's knees up to one's chest and one's bottom on or near to one's heels. Due to my arthritis, I can no longer get down on my hunkers and play with my grandchildren. He sat on his hunkers to inspect the leak beneath the sink.
hunker down (on something)
Fig. to squat down on one's heels, a stool, a stone, etc. Jeff hunkered down on the pavement and watched the world go by. He hunkered down to take a rest.
hunker down to something
Fig. to apply oneself to something, to get started working at something. I hunkered down to my chores, hoping to get them done before noon. If you want to get a good grade on that report, you'd better hunker down to it.
on your ˈhunkerssitting on your heels with your knees bent up in front of you: The little boy took out his favourite red sports car, and was delighted when Tom went down on his hunkers and admired the toy.
1. To sit on the heels with the knees bent forward; squat: My personal trainer hunkered down to help me with the barbells.
2. To take shelter or refuge: The campers hunkered down in the cabin during the blizzard.
3. To hold stubbornly to some position: The candidates hunkered down and refused to admit their mistakes.
4. To apply oneself and start working seriously at something: You need to hunker down and study if you're going to pass that test.