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  1. present participle of hanker


hankering (plural hankerings)

  1. (often followed by for or after) A strong, restless desire, longing, or mental inclination.
    • 1840, Washington Irving, The Knight of Malta:
      I found that he had dipped a little in chimerical studies and had a hankering after astrology and alchymy.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 24:
      " [] You don't mean," Mr. Osborne continued, gathering wrath and astonishment as the thought now first came upon him; "you don't mean that he's such a d—— fool as to be still hankering after that swindling old bankrupt's daughter? [] "
    • 1849, Charlotte Bronte, chapter 1, in Shirley:
      Mike says he even likes to talk to him and run after him, but he has a hankering that Moore should be made an example of.
    • 1861, Anthony Trollope, chapter 4, in Framley Parsonage:
      One may say that hankering after naughty things is the very essence of the evil into which we have been precipitated by Adam's fall.
    • 1904, W. W. Jacobs, chapter 2, in Dialstone Lane:
      "Some people are fond of a stay-at-home life, but I always had a hankering after adventures."
    • 2010 Aug. 12, Michael D. Lemonick, "Study: Lucy's Relatives Used Tools to Butcher Meat," Time:
      In other words, some species of human ancestor . . . not only had a hankering for meat, which scientists had not expected, but used tools to get it.