Definition of crook in English:

crook

noun

  • 1The hooked staff of a shepherd.

    ‘seizing his crook from behind the door, he set off to call his dogs’
    • ‘Reaper stood calmly with the base of his scythe planted on the ground, looking like a shepherd with his crook.’
    • ‘The shepherd's crook is not for beating the sheep, but for catching hold of them if they go into danger where the shepherd's arm can't reach them.’
    • ‘The haft of the crook must be formed of unpeeled hazel for the shepherds will not have ash.’
    • ‘Every year more and more shepherds hang up their crooks.’
    • ‘The challenge replicates the traditions of the game when shepherds played across country hitting stones with their crooks.’
    walking stick, cane, staff
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A bishop's crozier.
      • ‘It bears the images of a bishop's crook, a few trees and some clumps of grass inside a shield.’
      • ‘Instead the Mitchell brothers are generally busy making crooks for bishops and hikers.’
      • ‘Now I find myself completely unmoved by badges of hierarchy, of mitres and crooks and crowns.’
      • ‘Coming forward, I looked at our canonical crook in suspicion.’
      • ‘Dressed in full regalia with mitre and crook, Bishop David then led a prayer of thanks for the new school and everyone who worked and studied in it.’
    2. 1.2 A bend in something, especially at the elbow in a person's arm.
      ‘her head was cradled in the crook of Luke's left arm’
      • ‘Laughing, Eryalith grabbed the crook of Ariane's elbow.’
      • ‘The stethoscope that comes with some models is used to listen to the sounds your blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery in the crook of your elbow.’
      • ‘The lover lies face down on the ground under the full moon, with his head barely resting in the crook of his elbow.’
      • ‘Her basket no longer swung jauntily from its place at the crook of her elbow, nor did she bounce gaily on the springy moss beneath her feet.’
      • ‘I tapped a vein in the crook of my elbow to demonstrate.’
      • ‘Before walking in I'd removed my shoes so as to make even less noise and now I held them in the crook of my elbow as I tiptoed across the entryway to the stairs.’
      • ‘I started getting patches of it in the crook of my elbows, on my neck and around my eyes.’
      • ‘Then I grab the TV controller and bottle in right hand, baby safely tucked away in the crook of my left elbow and plop down on the couch.’
      • ‘Her green jacket was loosely draped in the crook of her elbow, and her jeans were clean, as if they had been purchased recently.’
      • ‘A black smudge squiggles in the crook of his elbow.’
      • ‘She nodded silently and stared stupidly down at the crook of her elbow.’
      • ‘Rebekah looked lovingly down on the sweet face in the crook of her elbow.’
      • ‘Tristan grabbed the crook of my elbow and led me outside.’
      • ‘That's not as easy a task as it was when I was a young man, but there one was, neatly in the crook of my elbow.’
      • ‘The crook of his elbow hurt from the blood transfusion.’
      • ‘I suddenly found it hard to concentrate on the needle the first doctor had shoved into the crook of my elbow.’
      • ‘‘Well, this is my stop,’ she sighed, rubbing the crook of her elbow.’
      • ‘Scars face me, across her wrist and in the crook of her elbow.’
      • ‘She brought the free arm up to join the other one under her head, and settled her forehead into the crook of her elbow.’
      • ‘To draw blood for the test, a nurse or technician cleans the skin over a vein, usually in the crook of your elbow, inserts a needle, and collects blood into a syringe or vial.’
      bend, curve, curvature, kink, bow, elbow, angle, fork, intersection
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    3. 1.3 A piece of extra tubing which can be fitted to a brass instrument to lower the pitch by a set interval.
      • ‘Early in the 18th century, horns began to be made on which separate coils of tubing of different lengths, called crooks, could be inserted at the mouthpipe to give the horn a different key.’
      • ‘Further notes became available when added lengths of tube, known as crooks or shanks, could be fitted.’
  • 2informal A person who is dishonest or a criminal.

    ‘the man's a crook, he's not to be trusted’
    • ‘The crooks range from small-time gangsters to big-time drug traffickers and international terrorists.’
    • ‘The crooks behind it use letters, faxes and e-mails to randomly target victims and although most people ignore them police estimate that about one per cent actually respond.’
    • ‘A small-time crook threatens to blow up a New York landmark unless his demands for money are met.’
    • ‘This evoked from Augustine the sad observation that there are crooks in every profession.’
    • ‘We want our border patrol agents chasing crooks and thieves and terrorists not good-hearted people coming here to work.’
    • ‘Police have spoken of their disgust at a new fraud scam where crooks pretend to represent the Vatican and dupe the public into handing over bank details.’
    • ‘Some of those who want him dead are the hardest crooks in the country.’
    • ‘Its history is littered with crooks, conmen and charlatans.’
    • ‘To suggest that Scotland would become an open door for crooks, conmen and other criminals is a gross exaggeration.’
    • ‘The majority of prisoners are crooks, thugs, murderers and rapists, who took the lives of people and did irreparable damage to women and young girls.’
    • ‘Still, there was no dent in the criminal network, with crooks continuing to appear on the front page more often than the good guys.’
    • ‘He's shoved a microphone under the noses of more crooks than a shepherd convention.’
    • ‘Bernie's team work hard to catch thieves, whether car crooks or shoplifters.’
    • ‘This data is then surreptitiously transmitted to crooks, allowing their young accomplices to later empty bank accounts.’
    • ‘The message going out to the crooks and the fraudsters is that this Government takes immigration fraud seriously, and that the behaviour will not be tolerated.’
    • ‘He drew crowds, cared for the marginalised, made friends with prostitutes and crooks, and called ordinary people like you and me to be his followers.’
    • ‘Frankly, most voters think most politicians, and their staffs, are a bunch of crooks already.’
    • ‘We're programmed to believe that the athletes we watch are all crooks, criminals and creeps.’
    • ‘The sport, if that's what it is, has seen way more than its fair share of gangsters and con men and other crooks.’
    • ‘Only those with something to hide - like crooks, terrorists, fraudsters and benefit cheats - should worry.’
    criminal, lawbreaker, offender, villain, black hat, delinquent, malefactor, culprit, wrongdoer, transgressor, sinner
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Bend (something, especially a finger as a signal)

    ‘he crooked a finger for the waitress’
    • ‘Mrs. Fitzgerald smiled icily at her son, and crooked a finger in the direction of the anxious butler.’
    • ‘‘Come with me,’ she said calmly, crooking her finger at him, turning and walking down the corridor.’
    • ‘A long, bony finger came crooking through, and turned the window handle.’
    • ‘He crooked a finger at me, and Liv gave me a good shove on my behind.’
    • ‘I crooked my finger at her with a victorious grin.’
    • ‘Maude smiled, too, and crooked a finger, beckoning Lydia to come in.’
    • ‘Mabel pinned the girl with an extra firm, accessing look, before crooking a finger in Larry's direction, suggesting that he follow her.’
    • ‘He crooked one arm out before him, fingers and thumb opening and closing, the other arm he bent into a ‘hump’ on his back.’
    • ‘He crooked a beckoning finger.’
    • ‘Moving to stand beside her chair, he crooked an arm.’
    • ‘I crooked a finger and used it to gently raise her chin up.’
    • ‘Phil nodded his head and crooked a finger before turning and walking off to his bedroom.’
    • ‘Rather than lead him home like a child, she made him crook his arm and she slipped her hand into it.’
    • ‘‘Don't put your filthy hands on it,’ I said crooking a finger at her.’
    • ‘You could have crooked your finger after the first night, and I would have come running.’
    • ‘She's neglected her tab until it's burnt down to the filter, leaving a dirty, grey finger crooking up at him.’
    • ‘He looked at me and I shook my head and crooked my finger.’
    • ‘Caroline stopped walking and turned to her husband, crooking her finger.’
    • ‘He held up a bottle of beer, pointed at it, pointed at Hank, and crooked his finger invitingly.’
    • ‘He stopped in front of my door and crooked his thumb towards it.’
    cock, flex, bend, curve, curl, angle, hook, bow
    View synonyms

adjective

NZ, Australian
informal
  • 1Bad, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory.

    ‘it was pretty crook on the land in the early 1970s’
    • ‘So laughter is the answer to all the crook things that happen.’
    • ‘We had a bad phone call at about 1.30 in the morning and after that have had a couple of crook letters.’
    • ‘This is about units in the normal market, which are regarded by many as a crook investment at the best of times.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person or a part of the body) unwell or injured.
      ‘a crook knee’
      • ‘Just like a carpet layer gets crook knees, people in the drug scene will end up in jail or dead.’
      • ‘Michael came to Britain when his frail crook father returned and gave himself up in May, after 35 years on the run.’
      • ‘And despite battling a weak heart and a crook knee, Donald can't see himself giving away his volunteer work anytime soon.’
      • ‘‘I'm not a doctor but if blokes are crook they should stay home,’ he said.’
      • ‘There is also no doubt it makes you crook next day.’
    2. 1.2 Dishonest; illegal.
      ‘some pretty crook things went on there’
      • ‘For the most part, this is true; nobody really needs a third party to inform them that their boss is a crook bastard.’

Phrases

  • be crook on

    • informal Be annoyed by.

      ‘you're crook on me because I didn't walk out with you’
      • ‘‘Madam, you've been crook on me ever since I refused to sleep with you’.’
      • ‘I was crook on them, but fortunately with time you learn to give it up.’
      • ‘What fascinated me though was in Wallace's communist football Utopia he was crook on what some clubs were able to pay their assistant coaches.’
      • ‘‘What a relief, I'd have been crook on myself if I'd have mucked up then, ’.’
  • go crook

    • informal Lose one's temper.

      ‘we rolled him for his overcoat—you ought to have heard him go crook’
      • ‘And if that happens, you don't tend to go crook at your partner, and if you do go crook at your partner, well then you have little chance of being a good doubles players I think.’
      • ‘He invited me in just in case Bev went crook.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘hooked tool or weapon’): from Old Norse krókr ‘hook’. A noun sense ‘deceit, guile, trickery’ (compare with crooked) was recorded in Middle English but was obsolete by the 17th century The Australian senses are abbreviations of crooked.

Pronunciation

crook

/krʊk/