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Definitions by Wordnik

  1. (noun) A device for transmitting rotary motion, consisting of a handle or arm attached at right angles to a shaft.
  2. (noun) A clever turn of speech; a verbal conceit: quips and cranks.
  3. (noun) A peculiar or eccentric idea or action.
  4. (noun) Informal A grouchy person.
  5. (noun) Informal An eccentric person, especially one who is unduly zealous.
  6. (noun) Slang Methamphetamine.
  7. (verb-transitive) To start or operate (an engine, for example) by or as if by turning a handle.
  8. (verb-transitive) To move or operate (a window, for example) by or as if by turning a handle.
  9. (verb-transitive) To make into the shape of a crank; bend.
  10. (verb-transitive) To provide with a handle that is used in turning.
  11. (verb-intransitive) To turn a handle.
  12. (verb-intransitive) To wind in a zigzagging course.
  13. (adjective) Of, being, or produced by an eccentric person: a crank letter; a crank phone call.
  14. (phrasal-verb) crank out To produce, especially mechanically and rapidly: cranks out memo after memo.
  15. (phrasal-verb) crank up To cause to start or get started as if by turning a crank: cranked up a massive publicity campaign.
  16. (phrasal-verb) crank up To cause to intensify, as in volume or force: cranks up the sound on the stereo.
  17. (adjective) Nautical Liable to capsize; unstable.

Examples by Wordnik

  1. * The effect of this little bit of science may be thus stated -- Men for two years had been punished as refractory for not making all day two thousand revolutions per hour of a 15 lb. crank, when all the while it was a 45 lb. crank they had been vainly struggling against all day. - It Is Never Too Late to Mend
  2. And so it goes with our northern neighbor, whose governor is giving the term "crank" a good name by comparison. - David Ormsby: Gov. Pat Quinn Gives Illinois Health Care Reform a Big, Fat Push Forward
  3. I know I am what they call a crank; doctors will tell you that you can't be cured of a bad illness, and be the same man again. - Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works
  4. I served my time, and I think it crazed me a bit though it was only a month; at any rate, I was what they call a crank when I came out, which I wasn't when I went in. - Doctor Therne
  5. I also enjoy fishin crank baits as opposed to soft plastics as I feel I have more control over the action. - alright this has been bothering me for a while.


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