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 .
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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. 1 (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.
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
(transitive) to rotate (a shaft) by means of a crank
(transitive) to start (an engine, motor, etc) by means of a crank handle
(transitive) to bend, twist, or make into the shape of a crank
(intransitive) (obsolete) to twist or wind
(of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
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.
Excellent; wonderful; first-rate; cool, rad, tits: That party last night was so cranking (1980s+ Students)
[perhaps fr the crank of a barrel organ, by which one can play the same tune over and over again; applied by Donn Piatt to the publisher Horace Greeley]
[krang-kuh l] /ˈkræŋ kəl/ noun, verb (used with or without object), crankled, crankling. 1. bend; turn; crinkle.
noun 1. a hostile or fanatical letter, often sent anonymously. Also, crank call. An irrational, fanatical, or hostile letter or telephone call. For example, The office was flooded with mail, including a lot of crank letters, or Harriet was upset enough by the crank calls to notify the police. This expression employs crank in the […]
[krangk] /kræŋk/ adjective, British Dialect. 1. lively; high-spirited. /kræŋk/ noun 1. 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 2. Also called crank handle, starting handle. […]
/ˈkræŋkəʊ/ noun 1. John. 1927–73, British choreographer, born in South Africa: director of the Stuttgart Ballet (1961–73)