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1. A device for transmitting rotary motion, consisting of a handle or arm attached at right angles to a shaft.
2. A clever turn of speech; a verbal conceit: quips and cranks.
3. A peculiar or eccentric idea or action.
a. A grouchy person.
b. An eccentric person, especially one who is unduly zealous.
5. Slang Methamphetamine.
v. cranked, crank·ing, cranks
a. To start or operate (an engine, for example) by or as if by turning a handle.
b. To move or operate (a window, for example) by or as if by turning a handle.
2. To make into the shape of a crank; bend.
3. To provide with a handle that is used in turning.
1. To turn a handle.
2. To wind in a zigzagging course.
Of, being, or produced by an eccentric person: a crank letter; a crank phone call.
To produce, especially mechanically and rapidly: cranks out memo after memo.
1. To cause to start or get started as if by turning a crank: cranked up a massive publicity campaign.
2. To cause to intensify, as in volume or force: cranks up the sound on the stereo.
[Middle English, from Old English cranc- (as in crancstæf, weaving implement).]
Liable to capsize; unstable.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.