Main definitions of crank in US English:

: crank1crank2crank3

crank1

verb

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

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

noun

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

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

    • ‘He's assaulting the keys like Liberace on crank.’
    • ‘Think twice before banging crank.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

crank

/kræŋk//kraNGk/

Main definitions of crank in US English:

: crank1crank2crank3

crank2

noun

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

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

Pronunciation

crank

/kraNGk//kræŋk/

Main definitions of crank in US English:

: crank1crank2crank3

crank3

adjective

Nautical
archaic
  • (of a sailing ship) easily keeled over, especially by wind or sea through improper design or loading.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

crank

/kraNGk//kræŋk/