Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have a strong, often restless desire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To long or yearn keenly and with uneasiness; have an uneasy craving: usually followed by after or for.
  • To linger with expectation; hang about.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To long (for) with a keen appetite and uneasiness; to have a vehement desire; -- usually with for or after
  • intransitive verb To linger in expectation or with desire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To crave, want or desire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb desire strongly or persistently

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps from Dutch dialectal hankeren; see konk- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Gentle reader, if you have never been in battle or captured by robbers, you needn't "hanker" for the experience, but take it as you would your clothing, "second hand."

    Shakspere, Personal Recollections

  • And look o'er the field -- yes! and "hanker" for more.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

  • And look o'er the field -- yes! and "hanker" for more.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

  • The solitude appealed to her sense of freedom; she did not "hanker" after a society she had never known.

    Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation

  • I can rustle up an eight-course Indian meal after a week of cooking, my bhangra dance steps are starting to resemble the real thing, and I hanker after Shahrukh Khan rather than George Clooney.

    India In Chicago: A Guide To Devon Avenue

  • Oh, I was never afraid of them, believe muh, but I didn't hanker after 'em.

    CHAPTER XI

  • So does he now hanker for the life he left behind?

    Hugh Muir's diary

  • Yes, strange sort of a chap. Wouldn't hanker to be bunk-mates with him.

    CHAPTER 22

  • Much as neurosurgeons might hanker after white coats with an exceedingly long train (borne through corridors and into the operating theater by respectful junior registrars), most people would regard such a thing as perverse.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • I can rustle up an eight-course Indian meal after a week of cooking, my bhangra dance steps are starting to resemble the real thing, and I hanker after Shahrukh Khan rather than George Clooney.

    India In Chicago: A Guide To Devon Avenue

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