Main definitions of crank in English

: crank1crank2crank3

crank1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Turn the crankshaft of (an internal combustion engine) in order to start the engine.

    ‘the starter motor struggled to crank the engine’
    ‘move the pitch lever into the normal range and crank up the engine’
    • ‘I cranked the right engine for a few seconds just to retract the probe so I could transfer my external fuel.’
    • ‘Otherwise, we would still be running steam engines and have to crank up our car to start it every morning.’
    • ‘We all expected the oil level to come up to normal when the engine was cranked.’
    • ‘To steer drivers grasped a tiller poking out of the dash, starting the car involved cranking a handle by the driver's side.’
    • ‘So when you awake to crank your engine on that early winter morning, expect your tires to be frozen to the ground.’
    • ‘Everyone hopped into their cars, and cranked the engine.’
    • ‘Shirley got into the car and slammed the door, cranking the engine.’
    • ‘He cranked the engine on and sped away from my house.’
    • ‘He cranked the engine, cast off the bow and stern lines, and moved quickly out of the harbor.’
    • ‘Swinging one long leg over the seat of the bike, he cranked the engine to life.’
    • ‘She hopped in the car, cranked the engine, and rolled down the window.’
    • ‘‘Later,’ he replied as he watched her climb into her small black 2000 Volkswagen Beetle and cranked the engine.’
    • ‘Swinging a leg over the seat he fished the key out of his duster pocket and cranked the engine into life.’
    • ‘I heard him crank the engine but I didn't look his way.’
    • ‘Scratching his head, I cranked the engine, ‘Zeke, you're so spoiled.’’
    • ‘He cranked the engine, music pouring out through the speakers above my head, and the night began.’
    • ‘I pulled the appropriate breakers, put down the gear handle, engaged the clutch knob, and began cranking.’
    • ‘Imagine your commanders surprise when you crank up the engine and hover over the Garage!’
    • ‘Frustrated, she cranked the engine to the sports car.’
    start, turn, turn over, get going
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Turn (a handle) in order to start an engine.
      ‘the generators roared into life when he cranked the handle’
      • ‘He took a handle and stuck it in the top of the pulley, cranking the handle back and forth.’
      • ‘I immediately hunched over the old manual pencil sharpener and furiously cranked that handle.’
      • ‘He would crank the handle at varying rates of speed.’
      • ‘The engine rumbled restlessly as the wings were cranked out, and for a moment, she couldn't bring herself to move.’
      • ‘Cranking the steering wheel hard away from the curb, I tore into the night.’
      • ‘Siddarth will crank the camera, while Ashmit will handle the editing.’
      • ‘I can literally hear the clicking noise the viewer made as you cranked the handle.’
      • ‘I figured that was good enough - the light was out, and the handle wouldn't crank any farther.’
      • ‘I longingly imagined the downstairs bathroom: an old woman cranking the handle of the paper towel dispenser.’
      • ‘Sikendar seized the green field telephone, cranked the handle, listened, grunted.’
      • ‘You can recharge the Coleman Sentinel in any household outlet, or when the power is out, just crank the handle.’
      • ‘Get a feel for the proper speed - the fish will let you know - and crank the handle that same way until conditions change.’
      • ‘He found that the temperature of the water rose as he cranked the paddle wheel.’
      • ‘He climbed down steps, unlatched a door and began cranking a rickety wheel.’
      • ‘He then ran to the shop and grabbed the wing-fold speed handle and manually cranked the wing off the canopy.’
      • ‘He used a camera cranked by a bicycle tire to compose cinema's first tracking shot.’
      • ‘The water burned him, when he cranked the Hot handle as far as it would go.’
      • ‘She cranked the net up to the perfect height and sat on the ground.’
      • ‘There's one reference to his cranking the camera himself.’
      • ‘I found myself holding the rod awkwardly, unable to crank the reel handle smoothly.’
    2. 1.2crank something upinformal Increase the intensity of something.
      ‘the volume is cranked up a notch’
      • ‘American conservatives crank up the heat on issues like abortion and drug abuse.’
      • ‘Are there any training techniques you could recommend that would really help me crank up my workout intensity?’
      • ‘Rather than addressing the culture and crisis in confidence, you'd propose we crank the hostility up a notch or two?’
      • ‘You crank up the intensity to the verge of insanity.’
      • ‘Sinclair cranks up the tension until it's almost unbearable.’
      • ‘It got burnt cos I was impatient and cranked the heat up a notch.’
      • ‘Switch it off, crank up the stereo and enjoy.’
      • ‘I reached for the volume control and cranked the music up a little.’
      • ‘Just don't crank it up too loud.’
      • ‘For the sauna enthusiast, the temperature is cranked up to a boiling 80-90 degrees.’
      • ‘When Mother enters the picture, those reactions crank up a notch or two.’
      • ‘Only in the final 20 minutes did the hosts crank up the pressure.’
      • ‘I backtracked and cranked up the volume, but that didn't help.’
      • ‘Enjoy it while we crank up the speed a bit.’
      • ‘‘Whatever,’ I grumbled and cranked the volume up on the stereo.’
      • ‘A common mistake is to crank up the heat in an attempt to dry things out.’
      • ‘Jessie yelled, cranking up the car stereo, the wind whipping through her long hair.’
      • ‘I found the CD of choice and popped it in, cranking the volume up as was my habit when I was upset.’
      • ‘I cranked up the speed and spent the next hour and a half climbing fast and screaming downwind.’
      • ‘But the film works by shrewdly cranking up the tension steadily until its explosive and violent finale.’
      • ‘‘Certainly, the upcoming address has cranked things up a notch,’ says a mainland military analyst.’
      increase, make larger, make bigger, make greater, add to, augment, build up, enlarge, expand, extend, raise, multiply, elevate, swell, inflate
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3crank something outderogatory, informal Produce something regularly and routinely.
      ‘an army of researchers cranked out worthy studies’
      • ‘It's almost as if whoever did it was in a hurry to crank it out.’
      • ‘Hollywood had the talent pool and financial impetus to justify cranking them out in large numbers.’
      • ‘The caveat is: you still need a powerful machine to crank them out.’
      • ‘Last week I finally decided to sit down and crank it out, and it was maybe 3-4 days of work total.’
      • ‘We'll crank it out pretty quickly, though (as if we have a choice).’
      • ‘Hughes cranked these scripts out in two days each.’
      • ‘The albums have stayed in print, and, once a decade or so, some new product is cranked out.’
      • ‘So many bombs yet Hollywood kept cranking them out in hopes they'd stumble across another American Pie.’
      • ‘They should be cranking it out, they're not really doing that.’
      • ‘The studio wanted to crank something out fast, but they found a man who actually cared about his assignment.’
      • ‘It was mostly filler so I had issues cranking them out.’
      • ‘To be sure, many of these multi-chapter serials were cranked out quickly and on the cheap.’
      • ‘The new album was cranked out in only a few short weeks.’
      • ‘Compared to the rest of the world, U.S. workers are cranking it out, pressed to do more and more.’
      • ‘I'm just having a problem with what the Chinese internal propaganda machine is cranking out.’
      • ‘I bet there's a factory in the mountains cranking them out.’
      • ‘They must be cranking some awesome devices out!’
      • ‘And everything else I have to crank out in the next… 20 days?’
      • ‘Motorola can now crank them out on 8-inch silicon wafers.’
      • ‘It's like writing a serial: you've got to crank it out and keep it fresh or it's all over.’
  • 2usually as adjective crankedGive a bend to (a shaft, bar, etc.)

    ‘paddle styles also vary—long, short, cranked, etc.’
  • 3informal no object Inject a narcotic drug.

    ‘he's been cranking up on smack’
    • ‘At least he's skiing and not cranking heroin or doing something despicable.’
    • ‘They said you could come back once you stopped cranking smack.’

noun

  • 1A part of an axle or shaft bent out at right angles, for converting reciprocal to circular motion and vice versa.

    ‘a long con rod which acts as a longer lever on the crank’
    • ‘Adam wrenched his vice-like grip off the cranks and gears beneath the vehicle and rolled out from the other end.’
    • ‘Blow down from above and rotate the cranks backwards.’
    • ‘A forged crank was considered, but rejected due to cost.’
    • ‘Remember you are producing the action while turning a hand crank on the frame of the drill!’
    • ‘At this point make sure you put the woodruff key from the crank in a safe place.’
    • ‘We also took turns at turning the crank of the grindstone when scythes needed to be sharpened.’
    • ‘The crank shaft turns the piston's up and down motion into circular motion just like a crank on a jack-in-the-box does.’
    • ‘One way of detecting a bent crank or a bent pedal spindle is to pedal backwards.’
    • ‘At the moment, the closest most engine analysts get is taking average readings from the piston crank and the oil sump.’
    • ‘Charles Kettering invents the electric starter rendering the hand crank on petrol cars obsolete.’
    • ‘The hammer was soon replaced by a magneto powered with a hand crank.’
    • ‘The pedals rotate cranks which fit into the bottom bracket.’
    • ‘Raven spun the crank yet again, and they could hear more of the whirring sound.’
    • ‘And every night, when they start turning the crank, the children come.’
    • ‘The connecting rods connected directly to a crank on the rear axle.’
    • ‘Movement of the pistons is conveyed to the wheels by cranks and connecting rods.’
    • ‘You simply turned the crank to ring the place you wanted using coded rings.’
    • ‘The fixture must be tall enough to allow you to rotate the crank 360-degrees.’
    • ‘Most are triggered by simple levers, buttons or cranks; some are as simple as a telephone hand piece.’
    lever, arm, bar, pedal
    View synonyms
  • 2informal mass noun The drug methamphetamine.

    • ‘She heard about the crank Benny and Roly were doing.’
    • ‘Several nights ago I smoked crank, its probably the 4th or 5th time I've tried it now.’
    • ‘He's assaulting the keys like Liberace on crank.’
    • ‘Think twice before banging crank.’

Origin

Old English cranc (recorded in crancstæf, denoting a weaver's implement), related to crincan (see cringe).

Pronunciation

crank

/kraŋk/

Main definitions of crank in English

: crank1crank2crank3

crank2

noun

  • 1An eccentric person, especially one who is obsessed by a particular subject.

    ‘when he first started to air his views, they labelled him a crank’
    as modifier ‘I am used to getting crank calls from conspiracy theorists’
    • ‘Left-wing bloggers are also now challenging traditional right-wing cranks for the title of champion conspiracy theorists.’
    • ‘Speak this truth in public and you are dismissed as a crank, a prig, a lunatic.’
    • ‘The anticommunist liberals of the Congress, like any group of human beings, included cranks and fanatics.’
    • ‘It is band width hogged by idiots, cranks, lowlifes, fanatic, and fools.’
    • ‘Anyone on TV or in a major newspaper gets a lot of nasty mail, some from unhinged cranks.’
    • ‘Those who dismiss us as mere cranks will be forced to think again.’
    • ‘They are deceived by the fairy tales of monetary cranks.’
    • ‘Sunday evening television is watched exclusively by fools, cranks and gibbering dingbats.’
    • ‘First, they were not, for the most part, marginal individuals or cranks.’
    • ‘The economist is a harmless crank as long as he is just peeping through the window.’
    • ‘Opponents were dismissed as cranks, hippies and subversives.’
    • ‘Their achievement is to have overcome being labelled cranks to make a real impact on the crucial environmental debate.’
    • ‘When they said so, in just that way, they were dismissed as right-wing cranks, and justifiably so.’
    • ‘I've also been labelled the ‘eccentric crank of Eldwick’ by a party with an equally cranky name.’
    • ‘As recently as a decade ago, direct democracy was generally regarded as an obscure enthusiasm of fringe populist cranks.’
    • ‘The group were not cranks or dropouts but concerned about the potential hazards of nuclear power.’
    • ‘The free lunch is the economic equivalent of squared circles and perpetual motion, a favorite of cranks through the ages.’
    • ‘He was also in his time dismissed as a crank and a madman.’
    • ‘The consumption of sugar still goes up despite all the fanatical attacks from health cranks.’
    • ‘I have often said that frequently you can spot a crank even if you know very little about the subject in question.’
    eccentric, oddity, odd fellow, unorthodox person, individualist, nonconformist, free spirit, bohemian, maverick, deviant, pervert, misfit, hippy, dropout
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American A bad-tempered person.
      • ‘In fact, he became the worst crank and complainer I have ever seen even to the point of letting his temper erupt in public.’
      • ‘Maybe I'm some old crank complaining about hills and snow and how kids should take more cod liver these days.’
      • ‘And everybody - save for a few old lefty cranks like me - will be content.’
  • 2literary A fanciful turn of speech.

Pronunciation

crank

/kraŋk/

Main definitions of crank in English

: crank1crank2crank3

crank3

adjective

Nautical
archaic
  • (of a sailing ship) liable to heel over.

    • ‘Imagine then, the situation of the Ranger's crew, with a top-heavy and crank ship under their feet.’
    • ‘The fact that she was crank when empty would not prove her to be an unstable ship when loaded.’

Origin

Early 17th century: perhaps from dialect crank ‘weak, shaky’ (compare with cranky or crank).

Pronunciation

crank

/kraŋk/