- 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
Examples from the Web for cranked
For artists, that moral sensibility, superstitious or no, ought to be cranked to 11.The Strange World of Political Assassination Fantasies
September 24, 2014
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’
September 4, 2014
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
December 8, 2013
The calculus of horror has been cranked up following the state-led massacres of several hundred Islamists over the summer.Egypt’s Military Holiday Marred By Deaths
October 7, 2013
Since its debut in 2002, the profitable franchise has cranked out 25 seasons.‘The Bachelorette’ Premiere: ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise by the Numbers
May 28, 2013
Andy cranked up and he and his crony getting into the car were about to start off.Tom Swift and his Motor-boat
Savagely he cranked up his engine and jumped into the driving-seat.Ambrotox and Limping Dick
Then he went out, cranked his rented automobile, and drove away.Campfire Girls at Twin Lakes
Stella M. Francis
And then they cranked up once more; and the journey was continued.Dave Porter in the Gold Fields
The other end is then cranked, as shown at B, but shorter than the arm C.Practical Taxidermy
- 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
- (of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
Word Origin and History for cranked
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.