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definition of the word crank

by the Wiktionnary

Old English cranc



crank (plural cranks)

  1. A bent piece of an axle, or shaft, or an arm attached at right angles to the end of a shaft or wheel, used to impart a circular action to a wheel or other mechanical device and create power; also used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion.
    Use the crank on the motorcycle and go for a ride.
  2. The act of converting power into motion, by turning a crankshaft.
    Yes, a crank was all it needed to start.
  3. Any bend, turn, or winding, as of a passage.
    So many turning cranks these have, so many crooks. - Spenser.
  4. (informal) An ill-tempered or nasty person
    Billy-Bob is a nasty, old crank! He chased my cat away.
  5. (US, slang) methamphetamine.
    Danny got abscesses from shooting all that bathtub crank.
  6. (rare) 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. - Milton.
  7. (nautical) A ship which, because of insufficient or poorly stowed ballast or cargo, is in danger of overturning

Definition from Wiktionary
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