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[kran-ee] /ˈkræn i/
noun, plural crannies.
a small, narrow opening in a wall, rock, etc.; chink; crevice; fissure:
They searched every nook and cranny for the missing ring.
a small out-of-the-way place or obscure corner; nook.
Origin of cranny
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English crany, perhaps < Middle French crené, past participle of crener to notch, groove; see crenel
Can be confused
cranny, nook. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cranny
  • He chitchats with bike builders who are constantly pushing the improvement of every nook, cranny and corner of the bicycle.
  • Oyster does a good job on this resort capturing every nook and cranny.
  • It does not reach into every single nook and cranny of a large house.
  • Time stood still as the chefs scurried to every nook and cranny with flashlights and prayers.
  • The responsibility of oversight is to look into every nook and cranny of governmental affairs.
  • Air leaks in and out of your home through every hole, nook and cranny.
  • The guard's next task is to search every nook and cranny, every box and package, in the truck.
  • So, there is no point in cleaning every nook and cranny.
  • Every nook and cranny of the store is full of unique, educational toys that you probably won't find anywhere else.
  • We will explore every nook and cranny of a nearby hollow to uncover the fascinating fungi lurking within.
British Dictionary definitions for cranny


noun (pl) -nies
a narrow opening, as in a wall or rock face; chink; crevice (esp in the phrase every nook and cranny)
Derived Forms
crannied, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French cran notch, fissure; compare crenel
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 cranny

mid-15c., possibly from a diminutive of Middle French cran "notch, fissure" (14c.), from crener "to notch, split," from Medieval Latin crenare, possibly from Latin cernere "to separate, sift" (see crisis). But OED casts doubt on this derivation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with cranny


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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