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
  1. verb
    desire strongly or persistently
    synonyms: long, yearn
    see moresee less
    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
Word Family
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