American Dictionary of the English Language

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CRANK, noun [This word probably belongs to the root of cringe, krinkle, to bend.]

1. Literally, a bend or turn. Hence, an iron axis with the end bent like an elbow, for moving a piston, the saw in a saw-mill, etc., and causing it to rise and fall at every turn.

2. Any bend, turn or winding.

3. A twisting or turning is speech; a conceit which consists in a change of the form or meaning of a word.

Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles.

4. An iron brace for various purposes.

CRANK, adjective [g., to careen a ship.]

1. In seamens language, liable to be overset, as a ship when she is too narrow, or has not sufficient ballast to carry full sail.

2. Stout; bold; erect; as a cock crowing crank

CRANK, CRANKLE, verb intransitive [See crank noun , and Crinkle.] To run in a winding course; to bend, wind and turn.

See how this river comes me crankling in.