[krook-id for 1–4, 6; krookt for 5]


not straight; bending; curved: a crooked path.
askew; awry: The picture on the wall seems to be crooked.
deformed: a man with a crooked back.
not straightforward; dishonest.
bent and often raised or moved to one side, as a finger or neck.
(of a coin) polygonal: a crooked sixpence.

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

Synonyms for crooked


[kroo k]


a bent or curved implement, piece, appendage, etc.; hook.
the hooked part of anything.
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.
a dishonest person, especially a sharper, swindler, or thief.
a bend, turn, or curve: a crook in the road.
the act of crooking or bending.
a pothook.
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.

verb (used with object)

to bend; curve; make a crook in.
Slang. to steal, cheat, or swindle: She crooked a ring from that shop.

verb (used without object)

to bend; curve.

Origin of crook

1125–75; Middle English crok(e) < Old Norse krāka hook Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crooked

British Dictionary definitions for crooked



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



a curved or hooked thing
a staff with a hooked end, such as a bishop's crosier or shepherd's staff
a turn or curve; bend
informal a dishonest person, esp a swindler or thief
the act or an instance of crooking or bending
Also called: shank a piece of tubing added to a brass instrument in order to obtain a lower harmonic series


to bend or curve or cause to bend or curve


Australian and NZ informal
  1. ill
  2. of poor quality
  3. unpleasant; bad
go crook or go off crook Australian and NZ informal to lose one's temper
go crook at or go crook on Australian and NZ informal to rebuke or upbraid

Word Origin for crook

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.

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