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[klangk] /klæŋk/
a sharp, hard, nonresonant sound, like that produced by two pieces of metal striking, one against the other:
the clank of chains; the clank of an iron gate slamming shut.
verb (used without object)
to make such a sound.
to move with such sounds:
The old jalopy clanked up the hill.
verb (used with object)
to cause to make a sharp sound, as metal in collision:
He clanked the shovel against the pail.
to place, put, set, etc., with a clank:
to clank the cell door shut.
Origin of clank
First recorded in 1605-15, clank is from the Dutch word klank sound
Related forms
clankingly, adverb
clankingness, noun
clankless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for clanking
Historical Examples
  • From morning until night, rush'd down the clanking guillotine.

  • They had wrapped the links of the chain in grass and leaves, so that no clanking was heard.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • A wheezing and coughing and clanking of keys interrupted the proceedings.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Presently there came the gentlest of impacts and then a clanking sound.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • Philip could hear no more for the puffing of the steam and the clanking of the chains.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • What care you for the din of factories or the clanking hammers of the foundries?

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • He left the room, and Duvall heard him clanking up the iron staircase.

    The Ivory Snuff Box Arnold Fredericks
  • Our chains are forged; their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston.

  • It whirred gratefully; the clanking stopped and she tried again.

  • There are shouts of the men, clanking of chains, and puffing of locomotives.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
British Dictionary definitions for clanking


an abrupt harsh metallic sound
to make or cause to make such a sound
(intransitive) to move or operate making such a sound
Derived Forms
clankingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clanking



1610s, perhaps echoic, perhaps a blend of clang (v.) and clink (v.), perhaps from a Low German source (cf. Middle Dutch clank, Dutch klank, Old High German klanc, Middle Low German klank, German Klang).



1650s, from clank (v.). Reduplicated form clankety-clank attested from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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