crouches and bends down

I see in dictionary that crouches means "To stoop, especially with the knees bent", and stoop means "bend forward". Now my question is crouches already means bend down with knees bent, so why there the sentence also has "and bends downs" following crouches? Isn't it an unnecessary duplicate?

I think crouches means changing from standing position to the below image. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Is there any different word to mean same what crouches means but it also mean how fast or how aggressively one crouches. I looking for a word which mean "crouches down very fast"

2 Answers 2


Crouching is different from "bending down." The picture that you have provided is of someone crouching, with his center of gravity in the same vertical plane as it would be were he standing. A person who is bending down would bend be leaning forward with his center of gravity ahead of where it would be were he standing.

To "duck" might imprecisely mean to crouch very quickly, but it could also mean to bend over very quickly or to fall to the ground quickly.


To crouch and bend down strikes me as slightly odd phrasing. Perhaps the Alexandrian Greek Text (from which OP's Holman Christian Standard Bible translation derives) includes two different verbs meaning to bend the knees (crouch) and to bend the back and/or neck (bow).

If OP seeks an expression meaning to adopt such a posture quickly, I suggest...

[He] dropped to his haunches (17,900 instances in Google Books)

Note that [He] dropped to his knees is far more common (727,000 hits in GB). But that would normally be understood as meaning his knees touched the ground, so if OP wants to accurately describe the exact posture, it's probably not the best choice.

Per Daniel's comment below, drop to your haunches isn't particularly common in informal speech, where you're more likely to hear...

[He quickly] hunkered down (144,000 written instances)

OED defines to hunker as...

To squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent, so as to bring the hams near the heels, and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet.

...where it's worth noting firstly that 10 of their 12 citations are for hunker down, and secondly that OED's "draft additions, 1993" includes this definition for the common modern "figurative usage"...

With down. To concentrate one's resources, esp. in unfavourable circumstances; to dig in, buckle down; spec. (freq. in military contexts) to shelter or take cover, lie low. orig. and chiefly U.S.

  • Do people actually say "dropped to his haunches"? I've read it in books, but never heard anybody say it.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 18:20
  • @Daniel: Good point. It certainly does occur quite often in books, as my GB link shows. And for some reason I assumed OP wanted a (relatively "formal") expression suitable for written contexts. I'll edit the answer to add "hunker down", which I think is far more likely to be used in spoken contexts. Commented May 10, 2013 at 19:42
  • I have never heard the phrase "hunker down" used that way. I have always heard it used like "He just needs to hunker down and get his work done," implying that someone would be staying in the same place for a long period of time doing something intensely.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 19:45
  • @Daniel: It would be far too difficult for me to establish whether and when that "figurative use" completely eclipsed the literal sense in the US, but I must say it sounds a little unlikely. Are you saying you are/were actually unaware of the literal meaning of "to hunker"? On reflection, I do agree with OED that the figurative usage does sound somewhat "American" to me - personally, as a Brit I think I'd be more likely to say knuckle down (which has no real "literal meaning" to me in any non-contrived context! :). Commented May 10, 2013 at 20:00
  • I was unaware until I looked it up on Google just now.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 20:01

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