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Definition of "crank" []

  • A device for transmitting rotary motion, consisting of a handle or arm attached at right angles to a shaft. (noun)
  • A clever turn of speech; a verbal conceit: quips and cranks. (noun)
  • A peculiar or eccentric idea or action. (noun)
  • Informal A grouchy person. (noun)
  • Informal An eccentric person, especially one who is unduly zealous. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "crank" in a sentence
  • "* 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."
  • "And so it goes with our northern neighbor, whose governor is giving the term "crank" a good name by comparison."
  • "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."