hunker down

When you hunker down, you settle into a safe, sheltered position. Some people evacuate their homes during a big hurricane, while others hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.

This term is such a popular way to describe taking shelter from a storm that it's become a weather report cliché. You might hunker down in your basement during a tornado watch, but you can also hunker down during an argument, refusing to budge from your stated position. Hunker comes from Scottish — it means "crouch on your heels" or "squat." Sometimes the phrase is also used to mean "get to work," like when you hunker down and finish your homework.

Definitions of hunker down
  1. verb
    sit on one's heels
    synonyms: crouch, hunker, scrunch, scrunch up, squat
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    type of:
    sit, sit down
    be seated
  2. verb
    hold stubbornly to a position
    “The wife hunkered down and the husband's resistance began to break down”
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    type of:
    hold firm, stand fast, stand firm, stand pat
    refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief
  3. verb
    take shelter
    “During the sandstorm, they hunkered down in a small hut”
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    type of:
    hide, hide out
    be or go into hiding; keep out of sight, as for protection and safety
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