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With a secondary frequentative suffix -er, ultimately pointing to Proto-Germanic *hankōną, an iterative to *hanhaną (“to hang”). Related to Dutch hunkeren (“to crave”), which continues the zero-grade iterative.
hanker (third-person singular simple present hankers, present participle hankering, simple past and past participle hankered)
- To crave, want or desire.
- If you hanker for chocolate, you'll like this fudge recipe.
- 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd. […], volume II, London: Smith, Elder & Co., […], →OCLC, page 289:
- “O ’tis true enough, faith. I cannot understand Farmer Boldwood being such a fool at his time of life as to ho and hanker after thik[sic] woman in the way ’a do, and she not care a bit about en.”
- 1880, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], A Tramp Abroad; […], Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company; London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
- “Baked, they were tough; and even boiled, they warn’t things for a hungry man to hanker after.”
- 1889, Jerome K. Jerome, chapter 7, in Three Men in a Boat […] :
- I objected. I don’t know whether it is that I am built wrong, but I never did seem to hanker after tombstones myself.
- 1894, Mark Twain, chapter 1, in Tom Sawyer Abroad:
- […] it made us heroes, and that was what Tom Sawyer had always been hankering to be.
- 1915, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, chapter LXI, in Of Human Bondage, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, →OCLC:
- She bade him good-night and hurried down the road. Next day he took her in a little watch with a brooch to pin on her dress. She had been hankering for it.
- hankering (noun)
- Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “hanker”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- “hanker”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
hanker m or f
- indefinite plural of hank
hanker m or f
- English terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 2-syllable words
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- Rhymes:English/æŋkə(ɹ)/2 syllables
- English lemmas
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