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.
of, relating to, or by an unbalanced or overzealous person: a crank phone call; crank mail.
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.
- crankless, adjective
- non·crank·ing, adjective
- un·cranked, adjective
Other definitions for crank (2 of 3)
a crank vessel.
How to use crank in a sentence
They placed plastic crystals of neopentyl glycol—a common chemical used to produce paints and lubricants—into a chamber, added oil, and cranked down a piston.How materials you’ve never heard of could clean up air conditioning | James Temple | November 12, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
In this shot of a tree, you can see that the bright blue seems to have the luminance dropped and the saturation cranked.The iPhone 12 Pro Max might be worth it—for the camera alone | Stan Horaczek | November 10, 2020 | Popular-Science
Central banks already have started priming their collective money printers and in the coming months are poised to crank them up to 11, buying up more bonds and delivering more liquidity to markets.
In the days before cellphones, his family would get crank calls, with jokesters asking for Dracula.When your last name is Frankenstein and it’s Halloween | Kellie B. Gormly | October 30, 2020 | Washington Post
Drop the iPhone 12 on a generic, 5w wireless charger and you might as well be turning a crank on a handheld generator to slowly fill it up with happy electrons.The iPhone 12 Pro is a big upgrade even without the 5G hype | Stan Horaczek | October 28, 2020 | Popular-Science
For artists, that moral sensibility, superstitious or no, ought to be cranked to 11.The Strange World of Political Assassination Fantasies | James Poulos | September 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It took me a long time to really get it cranked up, but now I am.David Chase on Tony Soprano’s Fate, the State of TV, and Why He Couldn’t Finish ‘True Detective’ | Marlow Stern | September 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Boeing wanted fewer cranked course alterations and more straight lines.The Exemplary Plane at the Heart of the MH370 Mystery | Clive Irving | March 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One reason for that is filmmakers shot with 16mm lenses on hand-cranked cameras for optimum authenticity.
There are times in Paris, as in other cities, when earphones are cranked up so loud they fill the car with unwanted melodies.Paris’s New Metro Etiquette Manual is a Rosetta Stone for Travelers | Christopher Dickey | December 8, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Cranked handles were fitted, and the points, which came in contact with the ice, were hardened and tempered.The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
My chauffer cranked up the car and I took my place at the wheel.The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar | Maurice Leblanc
The connecting-rods were directly attached to a cranked axle, and turned four coupled wheels 41∕2 feet in diameter.A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine | Robert H. Thurston
Her cheeks were pink and her dimples hard at work playing hide-and-seek with their own shadows, when she cranked the little car.The Camerons of Highboro | Beth B. Gilchrist
He threw his suit case into the tonneau, cranked the engine and was off over the rough trail that led to the Project Road.Still Jim | Honor Willsie Morrow
British Dictionary definitions for crank (1 of 2)
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
British Dictionary definitions for crank (2 of 2)
(of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
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