- 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
- a crank vessel.
Origin of crank2
- lively; high-spirited.
Origin of crank3
Related Words for crankzealot, curmudgeon, lever, handle, arm, eccentric, crackpot, character, fanatic, monomaniac, grouch, misanthrope, complainer
Examples from the Web for crank
Contemporary Examples of crank
The wonderful reign of Queen Elizabeth has everyone worried about what will happen when her crank of a son takes the throne.
Before the marriage it was already obvious that he was a bit of a crank.
I belong to the “Soccer Hater” demographic – middle-aged Republican crank with long, blonde hair and a great pair of gams.Up To a Point: Oops, I Enjoyed Soccer
P. J. O’Rourke
July 13, 2014
I belong to the “Soccer Hater” demographic—middle-aged Republican crank with long, blonde hair and a great pair of gams.DUP-Up To a Point: Oops, I Enjoyed Soccer
P. J. O’Rourke
July 13, 2014
An uncomfortable urinary infection is going to feel way worse than those few minutes you spent trying to crank out your work.8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and How to Deal)
March 13, 2014
Historical Examples of crank
In this machine, the barrel was fitted with a crank, and rotated by handle.Heroes of the Telegraph
The crank is a person who holds views which to us seem ridiculous.Mountain Meditations
Nothing now remains to be made except the crank and the flywheel.
Its center is drilled out and it is soldered to the crank as illustrated in Fig. 54.
This crank is mounted on a crankshaft carried on the metal tube M.
- 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
Word Origin for crank
- (of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
Word Origin for crank
Word Origin and History for crank
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.