[ krangk-uhp ]
/ ˈkræŋkˌʌp /


an act or instance of cranking up.

Origin of crank-up

First recorded in 1905–10; noun use of verb phrase crank up

Definition for crank up (2 of 2)

Origin of crank

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


crank·less, adjectivenon·crank·ing, adjectiveun·cranked, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for crank up (1 of 3)

crank up

verb (tr) slang

to increase (loudness, output, etc)he cranked up his pace
to set in motion or invigoratenews editors have to crank up tired reporters
(intr, adverb) to inject a narcotic drug

British Dictionary definitions for crank up (2 of 3)

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


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 up (3 of 3)



/ (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 up

crank up


Get started, as in The theater season is cranking up with four benefit performances. This expression transfers the literal sense of crank, “operate a motor by turning a crank,” to starting any activity. [Slang; 1930s]


Stimulate or intensify one's efforts. For example, We've got to crank up enthusiasm for this new product, or Close to the election the campaign really cranked up. [Slang; mid-1900s]

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