crank [crank cranks cranked cranking] noun, verb BrE [kræŋk]
NAmE [kræŋk]
1. (disapproving) a person with ideas that other people find strange
Syn: eccentric
Vegetarians are no longer dismissed as cranks.
Everybody famous gets crank calls and letters.
2. (NAmE) a person who easily gets angry or annoyed
The old crank next door can't stand the sound of our lawnmower.
3. a bar and handle in the shape of an L that you pull or turn to produce movement in a machine, etc.
Word Origin:
n. sense 3 and v. Old English cranc (recorded in crancstæf, denoting a weaver's implement), related to crincan ‘bend, yield, fall in battle’, of Germanic origin.
Derived: crank something out crank something up
verb ~ sth (up)
to make sth turn or move by using a crank
to crank an engine
(figurative) He has a limited time to crank the reforms into action.
Verb forms:
Word Origin:
n. sense 3 and v. Old English cranc (recorded in crancstæf, denoting a weaver's implement), related to crincan ‘bend, yield, fall in battle’, of Germanic origin.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.(Mach.) A bent portion of an axle, or shaft, or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft, by which motion is imparted to or received from it; also used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion. See Bell crank.
2.Any bend, turn, or winding, as of a passage.
So many turning cranks these have, so many crooks.
3.A twist or turn in speech; a conceit consisting in a change of the form or meaning of a word.
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles.
4.A twist or turn of the mind; caprice; whim; crotchet; also, a fit of temper or passion.
Violent of temper; subject to sudden cranks.
5.A person full of crotchets; one given to fantastic or impracticable projects; one whose judgment is perverted in respect to a particular matter.
6.A sick person; an invalid.
Thou art a counterfeit crank, a cheater.
Crank axle
(Mach.) a driving axle formed with a crank or cranks, as in some kinds of locomotives.
Crank pin
(Mach.) the cylindrical piece which forms the handle, or to which the connecting rod is attached, at the end of a crank, or between the arms of a double crank.
Crank shaft
a shaft bent into a crank, or having a crank fastened to it, by which it drives or is driven.
Crank wheel
a wheel acting as a crank, or having a wrist to which a connecting rod is attached.
a.1.Sick; infirm.
2.(Naut.) Liable to careen or be overset, as a ship when she is too narrow, or has not sufficient ballast, or is loaded too high, to carry full sail.
3.Full of spirit; brisk; lively; sprightly; overconfident; opinionated.
He who was, a little before, bedrid, . . . was now crank and lusty.
If you strong electioners did not think you were among the elect, you would not be so crank about it.
v. i.1.To run with a winding course; to double; to crook; to wind and turn.
See how this river comes me cranking in.

Dictionary of Computing:
crank - (Automotive slang) Verb used to describe the performance of amachine, especially sustained performance. "This box cranks(or, cranks at) about 6 megaflops, with a burst mode of twicethat on vectorised operations."

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