[ krangk ]
/ kræŋk /
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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.
Words nearby crank
Origin of crank1
before 1000; Middle English cranke, Old English cranc-, in crancstǣf crank (see staff1)
OTHER WORDS FROM crankcrank·less, adjectivenon·crank·ing, adjectiveun·cranked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for crank in (1 of 2)
/ (kræŋk) /
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 Canadian a 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
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 in (2 of 2)
/ (kræŋk) /
(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
Idioms and Phrases with crank in
Factor in, integrate, as in We'll have to crank in both state and federal taxes when we make our plans. [Slang; 1960s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.