- Machinery. any of several types of arms or levers for imparting rotary or oscillatory motion to a rotating shaft, one end of the crank being fixed to the shaft and the other end receiving reciprocating motion from a hand, connecting rod, etc.
- Informal. an ill-tempered, grouchy person.
- an unbalanced person who is overzealous in the advocacy of a private cause.
- an eccentric or whimsical notion.
- a strikingly clever turn of speech or play on words.
- Archaic. a bend; turn.
- Slang. the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine, used illicitly for its euphoric effects.
- Automotive Slang. a crankshaft.
- to bend into or make in the shape of a crank.
- to furnish with a crank.
- Machinery. to rotate (a shaft) by means of a crank.
- to start (an internal-combustion engine) by turning the crankshaft manually or by means of a small motor.
- to start the engine of (a motor vehicle) by turning the crankshaft manually.
- to turn a crank, as in starting an automobile engine.
- Obsolete. to turn and twist; zigzag.
- unstable; shaky; unsteady.
- of, relating to, or by an unbalanced or overzealous person: a crank phone call; crank mail.
- British Dialect. cranky1(def 5).
- crank down, to cause to diminish or terminate: the president's efforts to crank down inflation.
- crank in/into, to incorporate as an integral part: Overhead is cranked into the retail cost.
- crank out, to make or produce in a mass-production, effortless, or mechanical way: She's able to crank out one best-selling novel after another.
- crank up, Informal.
- to get started or ready: The theater season is cranking up with four benefit performances.
- to stimulate, activate, or produce: to crank up enthusiasm for a new product.
- to increase one's efforts, output, etc.: Industry began to crank up after the new tax incentives became law.
Origin of crank1
Examples from the Web for cranking
A slew of others, including most notably Motorola, Research in Motion (RIM), and Samsung, are cranking out their own versions.Broke and Buying Anyway
October 2, 2011
But the site seems to be cranking out its own articles and now the aggregation is complementary.The Daily Beast Turns 2!
October 5, 2010
A DJ was cranking old disco tunes, everything from the Bee Gees to Chaka Khan.The New Studio 54
December 1, 2009
The art of cranking a car is one that is not given to all men.The Girl on the Boat
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
Strangest of all, though, was the arrangement for cranking inside the box.Motor Matt's Clue
Stanley R. Matthews
"The Kepplers have one," was the reply, Doctor Guerin cranking his car.Betty Gordon at Bramble Farm
Alice B. Emerson
He ran back to the auto, and soon the others heard him cranking it up.The Motor Boys in Mexico
Charlie almost cried with vexation while I was cranking again.
- a device for communicating motion or for converting reciprocating motion into rotary motion or vice versa. It consists of an arm projecting from a shaft, often with a second member attached to it parallel to the shaft
- Also called: crank handle, starting handle a handle incorporating a crank, used to start an engine or motor
- an eccentric or odd person, esp someone who stubbornly maintains unusual views
- US and Canadiana bad-tempered person
- (tr) to rotate (a shaft) by means of a crank
- (tr) to start (an engine, motor, etc) by means of a crank handle
- (tr) to bend, twist, or make into the shape of a crank
- (intr) obsolete to twist or wind
- (of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
Word Origin and History for cranking
Old English *cranc, implied in crancstæf "a weaver's instrument," crencestre "female weaver, spinster," from Proto-Germanic base *krank-, and related to crincan "to bend, yield" (see crinkle, cringe). English retains the literal sense of the ancient root, while German and Dutch krank "sick," formerly "weak, small," is a figurative use.
The sense of "an eccentric person," especially one who is irrationally fixated, is first recorded 1833, said to be from the crank of a barrel organ, which makes it play the same tune over and over; but more likely a back-formation from cranky (q.v.). Meaning "methamphetamine" attested by 1989.
1590s, "to zig-zag," from crank (n.). Meaning "to turn a crank" is first attested 1908, with reference to automobile engines. Related: Cranked; cranking.