Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kreyn] /kreɪn/
any large wading bird of the family Gruidae, characterized by long legs, bill, and neck and an elevated hind toe.
(not used scientifically) any of various similar birds of other families, as the great blue heron.
Machinery. a device for lifting and moving heavy weights in suspension.
any of various similar devices, as a horizontally swinging arm by a fireplace, used for suspending pots over the fire.
Movies, Television. a vehicle having a long boom on which a camera can be mounted for taking shots from high angles.
Nautical. any of a number of supports for a boat or spare spar on the deck or at the side of a vessel.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Grus.
verb (used with object), craned, craning.
to hoist, lower, or move by or as by a crane.
to stretch (the neck) as a crane does.
verb (used without object), craned, craning.
to stretch out one's neck, especially to see better.
to hesitate at danger, difficulty, etc.
Origin of crane
before 1000; Middle English; Old English cran; cognate with German Kran, Greek géranos Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for craning
Historical Examples
  • Kirkwood looked back, craning his neck round the side of the cab.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Exclamations from the crowd, craning necks, peering eyes, murmurs.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • There was a bustle among the audience, a sudden rising, a craning of necks.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • There was a silence of expectancy, and a turning of heads, a craning of necks.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Alderson, who had been craning out of the door, drew back his head to speak.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • Then the flag falls, and, amid the rustling of skirts and craning of necks, they are off.

    The Tory Maid Herbert Baird Stimpson
  • craning out as far as he could, he made an inspection of the fall.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • All were smiling, and a few were weeping, craning their heads towards the bride.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
  • The crowd was craning and eyeing the gyrating balls expectantly.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • That they were of supreme interest could be told by the craning forward of the Committee.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for craning


any large long-necked long-legged wading bird of the family Gruidae, inhabiting marshes and plains in most parts of the world except South America, New Zealand, and Indonesia: order Gruiformes See also demoiselle (sense 1), whooping crane
(not in ornithological use) any similar bird, such as a heron
a device for lifting and moving heavy objects, typically consisting of a moving boom, beam, or gantry from which lifting gear is suspended See also gantry
(films) a large trolley carrying a boom, on the end of which is mounted a camera
(transitive) to lift or move (an object) by or as if by a crane
to stretch out (esp the neck), as to see over other people's heads
(intransitive) (of a horse) to pull up short before a jump
Word Origin
Old English cran; related to Middle High German krane, Latin grūs, Greek géranos


(Harold) Hart. 1899–1932, US poet; author of The Bridge (1930)
Stephen. 1871–1900, US novelist and short-story writer, noted particularly for his novel The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Walter. 1845–1915, British painter, illustrator of children's books, and designer of textiles and wallpaper
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for craning



Old English cran "large wading bird," common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon krano, Old High German krano, German Kranich, and, with unexplained change of consonant, Old Norse trani), from PIE *gere- (cf. Greek geranos, Latin grus, Welsh garan, Lithuanian garnys "heron, stork"), perhaps echoic of its cry. Metaphoric use for "machine with a long arm" is first attested late 13c. (a sense also in equivalent words in German and Greek).



"to stretch (the neck)," 1799, from crane (n.). Related: Craned; craning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for craning

Word Value for craning

Scrabble Words With Friends