Definition of crank call in English:

crank call


  • A telephone call made to disturb, annoy, or trick someone, often anonymously.

    ‘she had been getting a lot of crank calls and so she wasn't answering her phone’
    ‘I don't know if it was a crank call or a real threat’
    • ‘Someone was making crank calls, or so I thought.’
    • ‘"There are very few calls that could be categorised as crank calls and nutters," Dorothy said, adding the majority of people truly believe they have seen a Tasmanian Tiger.’
    • ‘Some have been crank calls but I have been humbled by the support I have received from so many people.’
    • ‘When your dad's a minister, and advertised in the phone book as a minister, you're likely to get at least some crank calls.’
    • ‘And, at times when crank calls keep pouring in beyond endurance, the staff simply pick up the phone and bang it down without answering.’
    • ‘Out of nowhere I was getting daily crank calls, I was beat up at recess, I was picked on and name-called daily, and I didn't have a friend to talk to.’
    • ‘So to avoid unwanted visitors, I use my mobile all the time, and if I get too many crank calls, I just change the number.’
    • ‘Two of the eight saboteurs turned themselves in to the authorities after they arrived in the US, but the FBI initially refused to believe their account, terming their first telephone contact a "crank call."’
    • ‘With midnight fast approaching, he delivered a pizza to an abandoned cryogenics lab, only to discover that it was a crank call.’
    • ‘Routine police operations had ground to a standstill since the beginning of this baseless panic as there were hundreds of crank calls, false alarms, and incidents of simple mischief.’
    • ‘This is great news to a kid who regularly used up all the credit on his phone making crank calls with his school friends.’
    • ‘And the nasty people who make crank calls are thereby doing criminal acts and should be fully prosecuted.’
    • ‘I hadn't said anything to my wife about the latest crank call.’
    • ‘While there were a few crank calls, the majority showed definite interest.’
    • ‘Over 15 months she flooded the city's 911 emergency line with more than 10,000 crank calls in a dialing marathon that sometimes blocked legitimate callers.’
    • ‘Now I know who made that crank call in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘The law officers, I convinced myself, could intercept crank calls at will and positively identify suspects through sophisticated electronic surveillance, yanking the guilty off to jail.’
    • ‘Crank calls were popular decades ago because there was no such thing as caller ID or *69 where someone could immediately call you back.’
    • ‘How are they going to weed out the crank calls from the real ones?’
    • ‘A 911 operator scolded him for calling, apparently thinking he was making a crank call.’