follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

crook1

[kroo k] /krʊk/
noun
1.
a bent or curved implement, piece, appendage, etc.; hook.
2.
the hooked part of anything.
3.
an instrument or implement having a bent or curved part, as a shepherd's staff hooked at one end or the crosier of a bishop or abbot.
4.
a dishonest person, especially a sharper, swindler, or thief.
5.
a bend, turn, or curve:
a crook in the road.
6.
the act of crooking or bending.
7.
a pothook.
8.
Also called shank. a device on some musical wind instruments for changing the pitch, consisting of a piece of tubing inserted into the main tube.
verb (used with object)
9.
to bend; curve; make a crook in.
10.
Slang. to steal, cheat, or swindle:
She crooked a ring from that shop.
verb (used without object)
11.
to bend; curve.
Origin
1125-1175
1125-75; Middle English crok(e) < Old Norse krāka hook
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for crooks
  • Perhaps he was a tyrant because he was set over crooks, and crooks are cowards in the presence of authority.
  • It's always interesting when crooks are caught and exposed.
  • So it is better to be an agnostic, live your life as it is instead of being used by a bunch of crooks.
  • Stay away from these crooks and dont believe a word they are saying.
  • Soon all these crooks will be looking for lawyers to defend them in the lawsuits that will no doubt be filed against them.
  • She occasionally accepts the hospitality of crooks, millionaires, and criminals.
  • But the world will become that much safer for tyrants and crooks-at home and abroad.
  • Then one day, her dream comes true, as she's spirited out of the bank by a pair of crooks and stuffed into the truck of their car.
  • Unfortunately, he discovers that many of his colleagues have been corrupted by avaricious crooks.
  • Outwardly, the crooks go along with the scam, but they have also devised a scam of their own.
British Dictionary definitions for crooks

crook

/krʊk/
noun
1.
a curved or hooked thing
2.
a staff with a hooked end, such as a bishop's crosier or shepherd's staff
3.
a turn or curve; bend
4.
(informal) a dishonest person, esp a swindler or thief
5.
the act or an instance of crooking or bending
6.
Also called shank. a piece of tubing added to a brass instrument in order to obtain a lower harmonic series
verb
7.
to bend or curve or cause to bend or curve
adjective
8.
(Austral & NZ, informal)
  1. ill
  2. of poor quality
  3. unpleasant; bad
9.
(Austral & NZ, informal) go crook, go off crook, to lose one's temper
10.
(Austral & NZ, informal) go crook at, go crook on, to rebuke or upbraid
Word Origin
C12: from Old Norse krokr hook; related to Swedish krok, Danish krog hook, Old High German krācho hooked tool
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for crooks
crook
early 13c., "hook-shaped instrument or weapon," from O.N. krokr "hook, corner," of obscure origin. Meaning of "swindler" is Amer.Eng., 1879, but crook "dishonest trick" was in M.E.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for crooks

crook

noun

A habitual or professional criminal; a consistently dishonest person: The chief said, ''I'm not a crook'' (1870s+)

verb

To steal: He crooked my socks (1940s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with crooks
In addition to the idioms beginning with crook crook one's elbow also see: by hook or crook
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for crooks

crook

in brass musical instruments, detachable piece of metal tubing inserted between the mouthpiece and the main tubing or in the middle of the tubing to lengthen the air column produced. This manipulation allows the player to obtain notes not included in the harmonic series of the original air column. Crooks were in use at least by about 1600 and were used extensively by the late 18th century. They were superseded in the 19th century by valves, which, unlike crooks, allowed instantaneous changes in basic air-column pitch

Learn more about crook with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for crook

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for crooks

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with crooks