Definition of crinkle-crankle in US English:

crinkle-crankle

noun

  • A winding in and out, a zigzag. Also (as a mass noun): sinuosity; intricacy, complexity; convolution. Now rare.

adjective

  • Twisting in and out, zigzag; sinuous, serpentine; intricate; convoluted. Also as adverb (now rare).

Origin

Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Florio (1553–1625), author and teacher of languages. Apparently a reduplication (with vowel variation) of either crinkle or crankle.

Pronunciation

crinkle-crankle

/ˈkrɪŋkl ˌkraŋkl/