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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. © 2015 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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References in periodicals archive ?
"We can't afford to have a citizenry that is hunkered down in its own ideology," she said.
And our savvy team on the ground here in Tokyo is hunkered down in the city's thoroughfares and alleyways to register the latest buzz from the bastions of tech, branding and corporate enterprise.
case of mad cow disease, the leaders of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Cattlemen's Beef Board were hunkered down in a conference room at their headquarters in Colorado.
There are hundreds, thousands of gay and lesbian servicemen and women waiting overseas for the final order from President Bush, hunkered down by the militarily imposed closet and now by the lack of any visible support from their own community.
In the first heat, Travone ducked low, popped up to rub his neck and smile at his mother, Barbara Stribling chanting from the side-lines, then he hunkered down and got back to business.
Historically, once litigation was initiated, the insurance company hunkered down, prepared for litigation and took steps to defend the claim.
FOR A FEW FRANTIC DAYS, THE NAPSTER FANATICS HUNKERED down and prepared as though the apocalypse was upon them.
We hunkered along the fence to let her pass, and as she jumped the fence we made out a young eight-pointer following her trail, nose to the ground.
But enough excerpts have been reported to confirm that he has joined the ranks of those Christians who, in hunkered poses, fantasize that secular society is persecuting them....By declaring himself and his prayer breakfast audience "fools for Christ's sake," Scalia can further advance his martyr complex when critics dissent from his opinion: scorn of his views equals bias against religion.
It's common (more like a dead certainty) to find guests, festival staff and anyone else who cares to join in hunkered down at the bar until the wee hours, enjoying Edmontonians' legendary friendliness, openness and capacity for ale.
When they weren't hunkered down on the yellow couch that occupied centerstage, staring vacantly at an invisible TV, the rambunctious crew from Dancers Unlimited were attacking the couch with cartoonish glee.
Hunkered down when she felt the bite, jerked the pole straight up
Wall Street hunkered and waffled either side of unchanged levels, hoping for some direction.
"They get shut off, they just stay in, hunkered down in front of their computer."