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crank1

[krangk] /kræŋk/
noun
1.
Machinery. any of several types of arms or levers for imparting rotary or oscillatory motion to a rotating shaft, one end of the crank being fixed to the shaft and the other end receiving reciprocating motion from a hand, connecting rod, etc.
2.
Informal. an ill-tempered, grouchy person.
3.
an unbalanced person who is overzealous in the advocacy of a private cause.
4.
an eccentric or whimsical notion.
5.
a strikingly clever turn of speech or play on words.
6.
Archaic. a bend; turn.
7.
Slang. the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine, used illicitly for its euphoric effects.
8.
Automotive Slang. a crankshaft.
verb (used with object)
9.
to bend into or make in the shape of a crank.
10.
to furnish with a crank.
11.
Machinery. to rotate (a shaft) by means of a crank.
12.
to start (an internal-combustion engine) by turning the crankshaft manually or by means of a small motor.
13.
to start the engine of (a motor vehicle) by turning the crankshaft manually.
verb (used without object)
14.
to turn a crank, as in starting an automobile engine.
15.
Obsolete. to turn and twist; zigzag.
adjective
16.
unstable; shaky; unsteady.
17.
of, pertaining to, or by an unbalanced or overzealous person:
a crank phone call; crank mail.
18.
British Dialect, cranky1 (def 5).
Verb phrases
19.
crank down, to cause to diminish or terminate:
the president's efforts to crank down inflation.
20.
crank in/into, to incorporate as an integral part:
Overhead is cranked into the retail cost.
21.
crank out, to make or produce in a mass-production, effortless, or mechanical way:
She's able to crank out one best-selling novel after another.
22.
crank up, Informal.
  1. to get started or ready:
    The theater season is cranking up with four benefit performances.
  2. to stimulate, activate, or produce:
    to crank up enthusiasm for a new product.
  3. to increase one's efforts, output, etc.:
    Industry began to crank up after the new tax incentives became law.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English cranke, Old English cranc-, in crancstǣf crank (see staff1)
Related forms
crankless, adjective
noncranking, adjective
uncranked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cranking in

crank1

/kræŋk/
noun
1.
a device for communicating motion or for converting reciprocating motion into rotary motion or vice versa. It consists of an arm projecting from a shaft, often with a second member attached to it parallel to the shaft
2.
Also called crank handle, starting handle. a handle incorporating a crank, used to start an engine or motor
3.
(informal)
  1. an eccentric or odd person, esp someone who stubbornly maintains unusual views
  2. (US & Canadian) a bad-tempered person
verb
4.
(transitive) to rotate (a shaft) by means of a crank
5.
(transitive) to start (an engine, motor, etc) by means of a crank handle
6.
(transitive) to bend, twist, or make into the shape of a crank
7.
(intransitive) (obsolete) to twist or wind
See also crank up
Word Origin
Old English cranc; related to Middle Low German krunke wrinkle, Dutch krinkelcrinkle

crank2

/kræŋk/
adjective
1.
(of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by the wind; tender
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to crank1
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 cranking in

crank

n.

Old English *cranc, implied in crancstæf "a weaver's instrument," crencestre "female weaver, spinster," from Proto-Germanic base *krank-, and related to crincan "to bend, yield" (see crinkle, cringe). English retains the literal sense of the ancient root, while German and Dutch krank "sick," formerly "weak, small," is a figurative use.

The sense of "an eccentric person," especially one who is irrationally fixated, is first recorded 1833, said to be from the crank of a barrel organ, which makes it play the same tune over and over; but more likely a back-formation from cranky (q.v.). Meaning "methamphetamine" attested by 1989.

v.

1590s, "to zig-zag," from crank (n.). Meaning "to turn a crank" is first attested 1908, with reference to automobile engines. Related: Cranked; cranking.

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

crank

modifier
  1. Bogus; false: crank letters/ crank phone calls
  2. Pertaining to methamphetamine: It's connected to a crank factory, and the case goes to New Jersey, so the FBI is all over it
noun
  1. An eccentric person, esp one who is irrationally fixated; nut, freak: That crank wants a yogurt shampoo/ All kinds of cranks took credit for the murder (1881+)
  2. A crabby person
  3. Methamphetamine, a stimulant; speed: Ain't no calories in crank (1960s+ Narcotics)

[perhaps fr the crank of a barrel organ, by which one can play the same tune over and over again; applied by Donn Piatt to the publisher Horace Greeley]


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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