• synonyms


  1. 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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make such a sound.
  2. to move with such sounds: The old jalopy clanked up the hill.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to make a sharp sound, as metal in collision: He clanked the shovel against the pail.
  2. to place, put, set, etc., with a clank: to clank the cell door shut.
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Origin of clank

First recorded in 1605–15, clank is from the Dutch word klank sound
Related formsclank·ing·ly, adverbclank·ing·ness, nounclank·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for clanked

Historical Examples

  • He clanked and jingled along the streets with a martial swagger.

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • They were huge, jointed things that clanked when they walked.

    The Guardians

    Irving Cox

  • The way they clanked about in their great boots and spurs got on his nerves.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke

  • They had long, banded tails, which clanked and rattled as they moved.

    The Inca Emerald

    Samuel Scoville

  • They swung their heads from side to side, and one clanked a chain in unison.

British Dictionary definitions for clanked


  1. an abrupt harsh metallic sound
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  1. to make or cause to make such a sound
  2. (intr) to move or operate making such a sound
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Derived Formsclankingly, 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

Word Origin and History for clanked



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).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper