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.

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

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

    • ‘He's assaulting the keys like Liberace on crank.’
    • ‘Several nights ago I smoked crank, its probably the 4th or 5th time I've tried it now.’
    • ‘Think twice before banging 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’
    • ‘Their achievement is to have overcome being labelled cranks to make a real impact on the crucial environmental debate.’
    • ‘The group were not cranks or dropouts but concerned about the potential hazards of nuclear power.’
    • ‘Those who dismiss us as mere cranks will be forced to think again.’
    • ‘It is band width hogged by idiots, cranks, lowlifes, fanatic, and fools.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First, they were not, for the most part, marginal individuals or cranks.’
    • ‘As recently as a decade ago, direct democracy was generally regarded as an obscure enthusiasm of fringe populist cranks.’
    • ‘I have often said that frequently you can spot a crank even if you know very little about the subject in question.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Left-wing bloggers are also now challenging traditional right-wing cranks for the title of champion conspiracy theorists.’
    • ‘The economist is a harmless crank as long as he is just peeping through the window.’
    • ‘The anticommunist liberals of the Congress, like any group of human beings, included cranks and fanatics.’
    • ‘They are deceived by the fairy tales of monetary cranks.’
    • ‘The consumption of sugar still goes up despite all the fanatical attacks from health cranks.’
    • ‘The free lunch is the economic equivalent of squared circles and perpetual motion, a favorite of cranks through the ages.’
    • ‘Anyone on TV or in a major newspaper gets a lot of nasty mail, some from unhinged cranks.’
    • ‘He was also in his time dismissed as a crank and a madman.’
    • ‘Sunday evening television is watched exclusively by fools, cranks and gibbering dingbats.’
    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.’
      • ‘And everybody - save for a few old lefty cranks like me - will be content.’
      • ‘In fact, he became the worst crank and complainer I have ever seen even to the point of letting his temper erupt in public.’
  • 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.

    • ‘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/