• synonyms


[krook-id for 1–4, 6; krookt for 5]
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  1. not straight; bending; curved: a crooked path.
  2. askew; awry: The picture on the wall seems to be crooked.
  3. deformed: a man with a crooked back.
  4. not straightforward; dishonest.
  5. bent and often raised or moved to one side, as a finger or neck.
  6. (of a coin) polygonal: a crooked sixpence.
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Origin of crooked

1200–50; Middle English croked; see crook1, -ed2
Related formscrook·ed·ly, adverbcrook·ed·ness, nounun·crook·ed, adjectiveun·crook·ed·ly, adverb


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[kroo k]
  1. a bent or curved implement, piece, appendage, etc.; hook.
  2. the hooked part of anything.
  3. an instrument or implement having a bent or curved part, as a shepherd's staff hooked at one end or the crosier of a bishop or abbot.
  4. a dishonest person, especially a sharper, swindler, or thief.
  5. a bend, turn, or curve: a crook in the road.
  6. the act of crooking or bending.
  7. a pothook.
  8. Also called shank. a device on some musical wind instruments for changing the pitch, consisting of a piece of tubing inserted into the main tube.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bend; curve; make a crook in.
  2. Slang. to steal, cheat, or swindle: She crooked a ring from that shop.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to bend; curve.
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Origin of crook1

1125–75; Middle English crok(e) < Old Norse krāka hook
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for crooked

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "You must have crooked ways to catch crooks, believe me," he said cheerfully.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I am a mud-head myself to think a crooked rod could save them.'

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • We had had nothing much since leaving the camp at Crooked Water.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • "Crooked as a dog's hind legs," snarled Lewis, biting viciously at his cigar.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Why, John, when you brought him home you said he was crooked.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for crooked


  1. bent, angled or winding
  2. set at an angle; not straight
  3. deformed or contorted
  4. informal dishonest or illegal
  5. crooked on (also krʊkt) Australian informal hostile or averse to
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Derived Formscrookedly, adverbcrookedness, noun


  1. a curved or hooked thing
  2. a staff with a hooked end, such as a bishop's crosier or shepherd's staff
  3. a turn or curve; bend
  4. informal a dishonest person, esp a swindler or thief
  5. the act or an instance of crooking or bending
  6. Also called: shank a piece of tubing added to a brass instrument in order to obtain a lower harmonic series
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  1. to bend or curve or cause to bend or curve
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  1. Australian and NZ informal
    1. ill
    2. of poor quality
    3. unpleasant; bad
  2. go crook or go off crook Australian and NZ informal to lose one's temper
  3. go crook at or go crook on Australian and NZ informal to rebuke or upbraid
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Word Origin

C12: from Old Norse krokr hook; related to Swedish krok, Danish krog hook, Old High German krācho hooked tool
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

Word Origin and History for crooked



early 13c., "hook-shaped instrument or weapon," from Old Norse krokr "hook, corner," cognate with Old High German kracho "hooked tool," of obscure origin but perhaps related to a widespread group of Germanic kr- words meaning "bent, hooked." Meaning "swindler" is American English, 1879, from crooked in figurative sense of "dishonest" (1708). Crook "dishonest trick" was in Middle English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with crooked


In addition to the idioms beginning with crook

  • crook one's elbow

also see:

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