To hanker for something is to crave it, or really want it. On a hot, sunny afternoon, you might hanker for a tall glass of sweet iced tea.

People often hanker for relatively meaningless things, like chocolate cake or a nap or a new pair of shoes, but you can also hanker after more important things, like a long-lost friend or a new job. If you long for it, you hanker for it. The word's origin is a little fuzzy, but one good guess traces it to the Middle Dutch hangen, "to hang," from the idea of "hanging around" or "lingering."

Definitions of hanker

v desire strongly or persistently

long, yearn
ache, languish, pine, yearn, yen
have a desire for something or someone who is not present
languish as with love or desire
Type of:
desire, want
feel or have a desire for; want strongly

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