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[krang-kee] /ˈkræŋ ki/
adjective, crankier, crankiest.
ill-tempered; grouchy; cross:
I'm always cranky when I don't get enough sleep.
eccentric; queer.
shaky; unsteady; out of order.
full of bends or windings; crooked.
British Dialect. sickly; in unsound or feeble condition; infirm.
Origin of cranky1
1780-90; crank1 + -y1
Related forms
crankily, adverb
crankiness, noun
1. crotchety, cantankerous, perverse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for crankiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To attempt to repeat what he said would convict me of crankiness equal to his own, and worse—because he could do it, and I cannot.

    Dariel R. D. Blackmore
  • Even Uncle Aaron lost some of his crankiness and seemed at times to be “almost human.”

    The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall Spencer Davenport
  • No crank can see his crankiness at the time of crankling, though sometimes he sees it afterwards.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • But the legends to which my poor old uncle's crankiness have given rise really begin to get upon my brain.

    The Gateless Barrier Lucas Malet
  • He belonged to C Company, and was a man subject to occasional fits of crankiness.

  • Etheringham there swears by it, and he's a pretty good judge, in spite of his crankiness.

    A Young Man's Year Anthony Hope
  • The test of "crankiness," then, lies in the adequacy of the advantage reaped.

    International Language Walter J. Clark
  • Salesmen particularly complained of her crankiness and of the unsatisfactory service they got.

    The Knack of Managing Lewis K. Urquhart and Herbert Watson
  • For one and a half years prior to admission her "crankiness" is said to have become much worse.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
British Dictionary definitions for crankiness


adjective crankier, crankiest
(informal) eccentric
(mainly US & Canadian, Irish, informal) fussy and bad-tempered
shaky; out of order
full of bends and turns
(dialect) unwell
Derived Forms
crankily, adverb
crankiness, noun


adjective crankier, crankiest
(nautical) another word for crank2
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 crankiness



"cross-tempered, irritable," 1807, from crank (n.) + -y (2). The evolution would be from earlier senses of crank, e.g. "a twist or fanciful turn of speech" (1590s); "inaccessible hole or crevice" (1560s). Grose's 1787 "Provincial Glossary" has "Cranky. Ailing sickly from the dutch crank, sick." and identifies it as a Northern word. Related: Crankily; crankiness.

Ben. Dang it, don't you spare him--A cross grain'd cranky toad as ever crawl'd. (etc.) [Richard Cumberland, "Lovers Resolutions," Act I, 1813]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for crankiness



Very irritable; touchy: The baby was cranky all day (1821+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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