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.

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

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

    • ‘Think twice before banging crank.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She heard about the crank Benny and Roly were doing.’

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Left-wing bloggers are also now challenging traditional right-wing cranks for the title of champion conspiracy theorists.’
    • ‘The free lunch is the economic equivalent of squared circles and perpetual motion, a favorite of cranks through the ages.’
    • ‘Those who dismiss us as mere cranks will be forced to think again.’
    • ‘Their achievement is to have overcome being labelled cranks to make a real impact on the crucial environmental debate.’
    • ‘The consumption of sugar still goes up despite all the fanatical attacks from health cranks.’
    • ‘They are deceived by the fairy tales of monetary cranks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The economist is a harmless crank as long as he is just peeping through the window.’
    • ‘Speak this truth in public and you are dismissed as a crank, a prig, a lunatic.’
    • ‘First, they were not, for the most part, marginal individuals or cranks.’
    • ‘When they said so, in just that way, they were dismissed as right-wing cranks, and justifiably so.’
    • ‘Sunday evening television is watched exclusively by fools, cranks and gibbering dingbats.’
    • ‘The group were not cranks or dropouts but concerned about the potential hazards of nuclear power.’
    • ‘Opponents were dismissed as cranks, hippies and subversives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyone on TV or in a major newspaper gets a lot of nasty mail, some from unhinged 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

/kræŋk//kraNGk/

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.

    • ‘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

/kræŋk//kraNGk/