What does crank mean?

Definitions for crank

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word crank.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. grouch, grump, crank, churl, crosspatchnoun

    a bad-tempered person

  2. crackpot, crank, nut, nut case, fruitcake, screwballnoun

    a whimsically eccentric person

  3. methamphetamine, methamphetamine hydrochloride, Methedrine, meth, deoxyephedrine, chalk, chicken feed, crank, glass, ice, shabu, trashnoun

    an amphetamine derivative (trade name Methedrine) used in the form of a crystalline hydrochloride; used as a stimulant to the nervous system and as an appetite suppressant

  4. crank, starteradjective

    a hand tool consisting of a rotating shaft with parallel handle

  5. crank, cranky, tender, tippyverb

    (used of boats) inclined to heel over easily under sail

  6. zigzag, crankverb

    travel along a zigzag path

    "The river zigzags through the countryside"

  7. crank, crank upverb

    start by cranking

    "crank up the engine"

  8. crank, crank upverb

    rotate with a crank

  9. crankverb

    fasten with a crank

  10. crankverb

    bend into the shape of a crank


  1. cranknoun

    A bent piece of an axle, or shaft, or an arm attached at right angles to the end of a shaft or wheel, used to impart a circular action to a wheel or other mechanical device and create power; also used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion.

    Use the crank on the motorcycle and go for a ride.

  2. cranknoun

    The act of converting power into motion, by turning a crankshaft.

    Yes, a crank was all it needed to start.

  3. cranknoun

    Any bend, turn, or winding, as of a passage.

  4. cranknoun

    An ill-tempered or nasty person

    Billy-Bob is a nasty, old crank! He chased my cat away.

  5. cranknoun


    Danny got abscesses from shooting all that bathtub crank.

  6. cranknoun

    A person who is considered strange or odd by others. They may behave in unconventional ways.

    John is a crank because he talks to himself.

  7. cranknoun

    A twist or turn in speech; a conceit consisting in a change of the form or meaning of a word.

  8. cranknoun

    A ship which, because of insufficient or poorly stowed ballast or cargo, is in danger of overturning.

  9. crankverb

    To turn a crank.

  10. crankverb

    To cause to spin via other means, as though turned by a crank.

    I turn the key and crank the engine; yet it doesn't turn over

  11. crankverb

    To act in a cranky manner; to behave unreasonably and irritably, especially through complaining.

    Quit cranking about your spilt milk!

  12. crankverb

    To produce or present a desired object.

    Crank out the beer!

  13. crankverb

    To run with a winding course; to double; to crook; to wind and turn.

  14. crankadjective

    Strange, weird, odd.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Crankadjective

    Etymology: from onkranck, Dutch. Skinner.

    They looken bigge, as bulls that been bate,
    And bearen the cragg so stiff and so state,
    As cockle, on his dunghil crowing cranke. Edmund Spenser, Past.

  2. CRANKnoun

    1.A crank is the end of an iron axis turned square down, and again turned square to the first turning down; so that, on the last turning down, a leather thong is slipt to tread the treddle-wheel about. Joseph Moxon Mech. Exercises.

    Etymology: This word is perhaps a contraction of craneneck, to which it may bear some resemblance, and is part of the instrument called a crane.

    I send it through the rivers of your blood,
    Even to the court, the heart; to th’ seat o’ th’ brain;
    And, through the cranks and offices of man,
    The strongest nerves, and small inferiour veins,
    From me receive that natural competency,
    Whereby they live. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee
    Jest and youthful jollity,
    Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
    Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles,
    Such as hang on Hebe’s cheek,
    And love to live in dimple sleek. John Milton.


  1. crank

    A crank refers typically to a part of a machine which is a bar or an arm that moves in a circular motion, often used for converting circular motion into reciprocating motion or vice versa. It is also used as a slang term that describes a person who is irrationally fixated on peculiar theories or methods. Moreover, in an informal context, it could refer to a grouchy or eccentric person.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cranknoun

    a bent portion of an axle, or shaft, or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft, by which motion is imparted to or received from it; also used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion. See Bell crank

  2. Cranknoun

    any bend, turn, or winding, as of a passage

  3. Cranknoun

    a twist or turn in speech; a conceit consisting in a change of the form or meaning of a word

  4. Cranknoun

    a twist or turn of the mind; caprice; whim; crotchet; also, a fit of temper or passion

  5. Cranknoun

    a person full of crotchets; one given to fantastic or impracticable projects; one whose judgment is perverted in respect to a particular matter

  6. Cranknoun

    a sick person; an invalid

  7. Cranknoun

    sick; infirm

  8. Cranknoun

    liable to careen or be overset, as a ship when she is too narrow, or has not sufficient ballast, or is loaded too high, to carry full sail

  9. Cranknoun

    full of spirit; brisk; lively; sprightly; overconfident; opinionated

  10. Cranknoun

    to run with a winding course; to double; to crook; to wind and turn

  11. Etymology: [See Crank, n.]


  1. Crank

    Crank is a 2006 American action film written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez and Dwight Yoakam. The plot centers on a British hitman in Los Angeles named Chev Chelios who is poisoned and must keep his adrenaline flowing constantly in order to keep himself alive, and in so doing causes mayhem, gets into fights with other gangsters, has altercations with the police, and takes numerous drugs. The title of the film comes from the slang word for methamphetamine. Produced and distributed by Lakeshore Entertainment and Lions Gate Films, it was released in the United States on September 1, 2006 in 2,515 theaters. The film was generally well received.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Crank

    krangk, n. a crook or bend: a conceit in speech: a whim: (mach.) a lever or arm on a shaft, driven by hand or by a connecting-rod, its object being to convert reciprocating motion into rotary motion.—v.i. to move in a zizag manner.—v.t. to shape like a crank: to provide with a crank.—adj. crooked: crabbed: loose or slack.—adv. Crank′ily.—n. Crank′iness.—adj. Crank′y, crooked: infirm: full of whims: cross. [M. E. kranke—A.S. crincan, to yield; cf. Ger. krank.]

  2. Crank

    krangk, adj. brisk: merry. [Origin unknown.]

  3. Crank

    krangk, Crank-sided, krangk-sī′ded, adj. (naut.) liable to be upset—n. Crank′ness, liability to be upset. [Ety. uncertain.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. crank

    [from automotive slang] Verb used to describe the performance of a machine, especially sustained performance. “This box cranks (or, cranks at) about 6 megaflops, with a burst mode of twice that on vectorized operations.”

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. crank

    A vessel, by her construction or her stowage, inclined to lean over a great deal, or from insufficient ballast or cargo incapable of carrying sail, without danger of overturning. The opposite term is stiff, or the quality of standing well up to her canvas.--Cranky expresses a foolish capriciousness. Ships built too deep in proportion to their breadth are notoriously crank.--Crank by the ground, is a ship whose floor is so narrow that she cannot be brought on the ground without danger.

Rap Dictionary

  1. cranknoun/verb/adverb/adj

    It can mean anything you want it to mean, in any circumstance.

  2. cranknoun/verb/adverb/adj

    Damn cave bitch tried to Crank me -- Jordan

  3. cranknoun/verb/adverb/adj

    That shit was Crank -- Jordan

  4. cranknoun/verb/adverb/adj

    That was the Crankest thing ever, it was so tight. -- Brad

Etymology and Origins

  1. Crank

    One whose notions of things are angular, eccentric, or crooked. His ideas do not run in a straight line.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. CRANK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Crank is ranked #7873 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Crank surname appeared 4,204 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Crank.

    75.1% or 3,159 total occurrences were White.
    12% or 507 total occurrences were Black.
    8.4% or 357 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    2.1% or 89 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.6% or 71 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.5% or 21 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce crank?

How to say crank in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of crank in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of crank in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of crank in a Sentence

  1. Cyril Connolly:

    I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.

  2. Stefan Koopman:

    The proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports would certainly disrupt the internationally sliced-up value chains. It is well-known that large U.S. high-tech corporates and retailers use relatively cheap Chinese labor to assemble their products and gross trade flows analyses may underestimate the disruptive impact, raising tariffs on final and intermediate products that are shipped to the U.S. will crank up domestic prices for U.S. consumers and producers. As such, if these tariffs come through, it would provide another shock to the stock market and hurt producer and consumer confidence.

  3. Michael Cusumano:

    Zhang is a CEO with tremendous foresight, he's not just sitting back trying to crank out refrigerators. He's trying to think about what the company can become.

  4. Mark Twain:

    A man with a new idea is a crank -- until the idea succeeds.

  5. Greg McKenna:

    The Russians have always struck me as production cut tourists keen to get off the boat and crank up production as soon as inventories were stabilized and prices once again elevated ... That possibility is top of the mind for traders and as a result oil prices are slipping.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for crank

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • коляно, манивела, чудакBulgarian
  • manetaCatalan, Valencian
  • klikaCzech
  • Miesepeter, Kurbel, Kurbeln, Kauz, Spinner, SonderlingGerman
  • στρόφαλος, μονομανής, λοξίαςGreek
  • cascarrabias, manivela, maniáticoSpanish
  • veivi, käänne, känkkäränkkä, kampeaminen, valittaa, kammeta, veivata, kränkkä, veivaus, kampi, pyöräyttää, kääkkä, marmattaa, pyörittää, mutka, veivaaminenFinnish
  • manivelleFrench
  • crangaidIrish
  • tūkokikoki, tukokiMāori
  • manivelaPortuguese
  • manivelă, rotire, învârtire, maniacRomanian
  • кривоши́п, поворо́т, изги́б, крюк, чуда́кRussian
  • čudàkinja, čùdākSerbo-Croatian
  • vypeckovať, roztociť, kľukaSlovak
  • vevning, veva, vevSwedish
  • kol, manivela, huysuz, çevirme, kimse, kelime oyunuTurkish

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"crank." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/crank>.

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    a rugged box (usually made of wood); used for shipping
    • A. sheath
    • B. crate
    • C. sweep
    • D. tingle

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