Origin of crank

1
before 1000; Middle English cranke, Old English cranc-, in crancstǣf crank (see staff1)

Related forms

crank·less, adjectivenon·crank·ing, adjectiveun·cranked, adjective

Definition for crank (2 of 3)

crank

2
[ krangk ]
/ kræŋk /

adjective Nautical.

Also cranky. having a tendency to roll easily, as a boat or ship; tender (opposed to stiff).

noun

a crank vessel.

Origin of crank

2
1690–1700; probably to be identified with crank1, but sense developement unclear; cf. crank-sided

Definition for crank (3 of 3)

crank

3
[ krangk ]
/ kræŋk /

adjective British Dialect.

lively; high-spirited.

Origin of crank

3
1350–1400; Middle English cranke, of obscure origin

Related forms

crank·ly, adverbcrank·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crank

British Dictionary definitions for crank (1 of 2)

crank

1
/ (kræŋk) /

noun

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
informal
  1. an eccentric or odd person, esp someone who stubbornly maintains unusual views
  2. US and Canadian a bad-tempered person

verb

See also crank up

Word Origin for crank

Old English cranc; related to Middle Low German krunke wrinkle, Dutch krinkel crinkle

British Dictionary definitions for crank (2 of 2)

crank

2

cranky

/ (kræŋk) /

adjective

(of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender

Word Origin for crank

C17: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to crank 1
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