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hunker down

1. Literally, to squat. The magician hunkered down to the eye level of 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 work or 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.
See also: down, hunker

hunker down to (something)

To work or 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 to it all weekend!
See also: down, hunker, to


One who acts in a deceptive or dishonest manner. Mom, he's a total hunker-slider—don't give him one penny more!


Acting in a deceptive or dishonest manner. I wouldn't give him one penny—not with his penchant for hunker-sliding! There's so much hunker-sliding in this business that it's tough to trust anyone.

on (one's) hunkers

In a crouching position; bending down with one's heels on the ground and one's knees bent. 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.
See also: hunker, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: down, hunker

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.
See also: down, hunker, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on your ˈhunkers

sitting 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.
See also: hunker, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hunker down

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.
See also: down, hunker
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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Hunker hosted tours of Columbus, during which he imparted his wide-ranging knowledge of Ohio.
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Time to hunker down once more and enjoy the pleasures of a roaring log fire.
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The author, Henry Hunker, gives a history of the city as it has evolved and changed since the first time he visited in 1946.
At Holy Trinity Church in downtown Toronto, Ian Sowton, 73, helps 4- and 5-year-olds hunker down at a table with scissors and glue as they listen to the story of Sarah and Isaac.
To miss the mosquitoes, hunker down in the early evening.
Our mission is not to hunker down in some musty cave to await the stroke of a deus ex machina to save us.
With Bruce Vladek in charge, should nursing home managers hunker down and (as usual) expect the worst?
And if we do see such a power shift within this Tory government, then those who find themselves struggling now had better hunker down for even worse times to come.