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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

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
To be fair, fighting did not always remain at a safe distance--I particularly remember the report of one correspondent who was hunkered down in her closet or bathroom--but for much of the official war, the camera's unblinking eye surveyed the street outside, registering little more than an occasional flash in the sky.
To record this CD, her second for the Windham Hill label, Ian and three band mates hunkered down in a rented house for three months.
I have this warm picture in my head of my father, circa 1960 -- hunkered down over his manual typewriter, the sweat pouring down his face illuminated by the light of the kerosene lamp.
The next tree was one of those ancient, gnarled, nononsense post oaks that remind you of a Druid hunkered defiantly on a rocky hillside.
Adding drops of a watery solution and oil to the tube and then sealing the open end with a transparent, uncoated cap, the researchers found that the water hunkered down into a hemispherical lens at the uncoated end.
Did Clinton have a shock of recognition during Meltdown Weekend fourteen days later when, with Monica's ID photo on every newsstand and the presidential rope-line video in heavy rotation, he hunkered down in the White House screening room to watch the most romantic disaster movie ever made?
But in a few cases the weakened virus hunkered down and eventually conquered its nemesis, the immune system.