(1)   (used of boats) inclined to heel over easily under sail


(2)   A hand tool consisting of a rotating shaft with parallel handle
(3)   An amphetamine derivative (trade name Methedrine) used in the form of a crystalline hydrochloride; used as a stimulant to the nervous system and as an appetite suppressant
(4)   A whimsically eccentric person
(5)   A bad-tempered person


(6)   Bend into the shape of a crank
(7)   Fasten with a crank
(8)   Rotate with a crank
(9)   Start by cranking
"Crank up the engine"
(10)   Travel along a zigzag path
"The river zigzags through the countryside"


  1. A bent piece of an axle, or shaft, or an arm attached at right angles to the end of a shaft or wheel, used to impart a circular action to a wheel or other mechanical device and create power; also used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion.
    Use the crank on the motorcycle and go for a ride.
  2. The act of converting power into motion, by turning a crankshaft.
    Yes, a crank was all it needed to start.
  3. Any bend, turn, or winding, as of a passage.
    So many turning cranks these have, so many crooks. - Spenser.
  4. An ill-tempered or nasty person
    Billy-Bob is a nasty, old crank! He chased my cat away.
  5. methamphetamine.
    Danny got abscesses from shooting all that bathtub crank.
  6. A person who is considered strange to others. They may do strange things, or be a crank by nature.
    John is a crank because he talks to himself.
  7. A twist or turn in speech; a conceit consisting in a change of the form or meaning of a word.
    Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles. - Milton.
  8. A ship which, because of insufficient or poorly stowed ballast or cargo, is in danger of overturning


  1. To turn a crank.
    Crank it up!
    He's been cranking all day and yet it refuses to crank.
  2. To cause to spin via other means, as though turned by a crank.
    I turn the key and crank the engine; yet it doesn't turn over
  3. To act in a cranky manner; to behave unreasonably and irritably.
    Quit cranking about your spilt milk!
  4. To produce or present a desired object.
    Crank out the beer!
  5. To run with a winding course; to double; to crook; to wind and turn.
    See how this river comes me cranking in. - Shakespeare

Related terms