Meaning of CRANK in English


I. ˈkraŋk noun

Etymology: Middle English cranke, from Old English cranc- (as in crancstæf, a weaving instrument); probably akin to Middle High German krank weak, sick — more at cringe

Date: 13th century

1. : a bent part of an axle or shaft or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft by which circular motion is imparted to or received from the shaft or by which reciprocating motion is changed into circular motion or vice versa


a. archaic : bend

b. : a twist or turn of speech : conceit — used especially in the phrase quips and cranks


(1) : caprice , crotchet

(2) : an annoyingly eccentric person ; also : one who is overly enthusiastic about a particular subject or activity

d. : a bad-tempered person : grouch

3. : crystal 7

• crank·ish ˈkraŋ-kish adjective

II. verb

Date: 1592

intransitive verb

1. : to move with a winding course : zigzag


a. : to turn a crank

b. : to get started by or as if by the turning of a crank

c. : to gain speed, momentum, or intensity — usually used with up

the campaign is crank ing up

transitive verb

1. : to move or operate by or as if by a crank

crank the window down


a. : to cause to start (as an automobile)

b. : to rotate the shaft (as a crankshaft) of especially with a starter

crank over an engine

c. : to use in trying to start an engine

crank the starter


a. : to start as if by use of a crank — usually used with up

she crank ed up the air conditioner

b. : turn up 2 — usually used with up

crank up the volume

crank up the stereo

III. adjective

Date: 1924

: of, relating to, or being a cranky or eccentric person ; also : made or sent by such a person

crank calls

a crank letter

IV. adjective

Etymology: Middle English cranke

Date: 15th century

1. chiefly dialect : merry , high-spirited

2. chiefly dialect : cocky , confident

V. adjective

Etymology: short for crank-sided easily tipped

Date: circa 1649

of a boat : easily tipped : tender 7d

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.