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[klangk] /klæŋk/
a sharp, hard, nonresonant sound, like that produced by two pieces of metal striking, one against the other:
the clank of chains; the clank of an iron gate slamming shut.
verb (used without object)
to make such a sound.
to move with such sounds:
The old jalopy clanked up the hill.
verb (used with object)
to cause to make a sharp sound, as metal in collision:
He clanked the shovel against the pail.
to place, put, set, etc., with a clank:
to clank the cell door shut.
Origin of clank
1605-15; < Dutch klank sound
Related forms
clankingly, adverb
clankingness, noun
clankless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clank
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As they drew near the clank of sabres was heard at the same time.

  • The clank of the iron chain in the gear told that the cage in the shaft was working.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • Much ridicule pursued Vimeux in both bureaus when the clank of his spurs resounded in the corridors and on the staircases.

    Bureaucracy Honore de Balzac
  • Behind them now came the clank and thud of a score of overtaking feet.

  • Ere all had mounted, the clank of their weapons had been heard, shouts of "Treason!"

  • The shuffling movement and clank of chains was heard, but she did not turn her head.

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • At the clank of spur-chain and rowel Struve came hastily into the hallway from his office.

    The Bells of San Juan Jackson Gregory
  • The bell was rung violently—every clank sent a pang through her bosom.

    The O'Donoghue Charles James Lever
  • I heard the clank of the handle and then the musical rush of water into the pail.

    The Jervaise Comedy J. D. Beresford
British Dictionary definitions for clank


an abrupt harsh metallic sound
to make or cause to make such a sound
(intransitive) to move or operate making such a sound
Derived Forms
clankingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clank

1610s, perhaps echoic, perhaps a blend of clang (v.) and clink (v.), perhaps from a Low German source (cf. Middle Dutch clank, Dutch klank, Old High German klanc, Middle Low German klank, German Klang).


1650s, from clank (v.). Reduplicated form clankety-clank attested from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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