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[kran-ee] /ˈkræn i/
noun, plural crannies.
a small, narrow opening in a wall, rock, etc.; chink; crevice; fissure:
They searched every nook and cranny for the missing ring.
a small out-of-the-way place or obscure corner; nook.
Origin of cranny
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English crany, perhaps < Middle French crené, past participle of crener to notch, groove; see crenel
Can be confused
cranny, nook. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cranny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her officers knew every nook and cranny of the coast along their beat.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • Taking the lantern, I examined every nook and cranny of the cell for some other exit.

    A Master of Mysteries L. T. Meade
  • Their old hut was like a rabbit-pen: there was a tow-head to every crack and cranny.

    Oldtown Fireside Stories Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • There was no cranny in the rocks too small for them to reconnoiter with caution.

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
  • If only there were a cranny of light somewhere in the dead place!

  • He went about the distance of a gun-shot and saw a light in a cranny.

British Dictionary definitions for cranny


noun (pl) -nies
a narrow opening, as in a wall or rock face; chink; crevice (esp in the phrase every nook and cranny)
Derived Forms
crannied, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French cran notch, fissure; compare crenel
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 cranny

mid-15c., possibly from a diminutive of Middle French cran "notch, fissure" (14c.), from crener "to notch, split," from Medieval Latin crenare, possibly from Latin cernere "to separate, sift" (see crisis). But OED casts doubt on this derivation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with cranny


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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