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
The network is a flytrap for cranks, conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, and defenders of authoritarianism.
The GOP field from 2012 can be fairly neatly divided into three camps: serious candidates, attention seekers, and cranks.
I have not asked for, nor do I accept, the help of intellectual cranks.
Obama said he listens to music only on his iPod, is embarrassed by none of it, and cranks up Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones.How Bravo’s Andy Cohen Made Obama Plead the Fifth on Michelle’s Outfit | Jonathan Alter | June 18, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The overwhelming majority of Israelis reject them as cranks.
Desiring to propel my hand sled with power transmitted by cranks and wheels, I set about to procure the necessary materials.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
The cranks are placed at equal angles apart round the crank shaft, so as to balance the forces exerted upon the shaft.Scientific American Supplement No. 299 | Various
There is no question that young Franklin was a member of that extensive fraternity now known as "cranks."Steam Steel and Electricity | James W. Steele
Machinery has been made to do work which at first sight seems incapable of being carried on by wheels and cranks.The Hills and the Vale | Richard Jefferies
Then, being dissatisfied, he went to the unrecognized teachers, the enthusiasts and the "cranks" of a hundred schools.The Book of Life: Vol. I Mind and Body; Vol. II Love and Society | Upton Sinclair
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