verb (used without object)
- to have a restless or incessant longing (often followed by after, for, or an infinitive).
- (foll by for, after, or an infinitive) to have a yearning (for something or to do something)
c.1600, of unknown origin, probably from Flemish hankeren, related to Dutch hunkeren “to hanker,” of unknown origin; perhaps an intensive of Middle Dutch hangen “to hang” (see hang (v.)). If so, the notion is of “lingering about” with longing or craving. Related: Hankered; hankering.