Definition of cranky in English:


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adjectiveadjective crankier, adjective crankiest

  • 1mainly North American informal Ill-tempered; irritable.

    • ‘he was bored and cranky after eight hours of working’
    • ‘This lack of rest has caused a radical shift in my personality, making me cranky, irritable, and prone to curse loudly at the slightest provocation.’
    • ‘Do you find yourself irritable and cranky, taking out your anxiety and frustration on those you love?’
    • ‘These individuals are emotionally robust despite their shy demeanour, and they have high standards for themselves, which is why they can seem cranky and irritable.’
    • ‘She has a voluble and attractive personality, but even if she were cranky and bad-tempered I'd still go there because the food's really good.’
    • ‘The relentless sweltering had gotten to all of us, kids and adults alike; we were short tempered and cranky and prone to starting fights over nothing.’
    • ‘It gives me the right to explain that my periodic short tempered, cranky moments are a biproduct of the disease.’
    • ‘She arrived in Hawaii, tired and cranky, 5 hours later.’
    • ‘Obviously my attitude hasn't been the best because the musicians keep telling me that I'm cross and cranky and difficult to work with.’
    • ‘Most of the time, she was cranky and grumpy, experiencing this nonstop craving and hunger for ice cream.’
    • ‘Then again, I think they expect me to be a bit cranky at that hour anyway, so it works out.’
    • ‘Others may experience brief periods of irritability, and some may seem cranky for weeks, experiencing crying episodes and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns.’
    • ‘Now is the time of the season that people start to get cranky (even the chess players are looking a little irritable).’
    • ‘Just remind them the family will be less cranky and short tempered if they can overcome jet lag first.’
    • ‘The expanse of the day unfolds before me and I can't comprehend how I am going to distract my cranky baby for the next 12 hours.’
    • ‘I'm also depressed, cranky, annoying, and irritable.’
    • ‘Eventually the train did come although it was three hours late and filled with cranky people who just wanted to go home.’
    • ‘Quigley returned to the treetop retreat hours later, looking tired and cranky.’
    • ‘She was cranky because it had taken over an hour to get the twins to go to sleep.’
    • ‘And, even though it's been a good day, I'm cranky.’
    • ‘I cried with laughter the first time I read this, and I still go there when I feel cranky, because it always makes me giggle.’
    bad-tempered, irritable, irascible, tetchy, testy, grumpy, grouchy, crotchety, in a mood, in a bad mood, ill-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, peevish
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    1. 1.1Eccentric or strange, typically because highly unorthodox.
      ‘a cranky scheme to pipe ground-level ozone into the stratosphere’
      • ‘In life he was regarded as an awkward customer, a cranky, eccentric figure with a talent for rubbing people up the wrong way.’
      • ‘The administrators are cranky and making the strangest decisions.’
      • ‘We're not this weird, cranky, fanged minority that is secretly drinking blood in the name of its depraved godlessness!’
      • ‘Its images and quirky, cranky design return to the mind's eye long after the final credits.’
      • ‘It seems one crazy, cranky dollmaker has found the technology to shrink people down to the size of mere dolls.’
      • ‘The fact he could be won round to this cranky idea demonstrates that he shouldn't be trusted in charge of a whelk stall, let alone the national economy.’
      • ‘We ourselves have no memory of being in the womb (though there are some rather cranky rumours to the opposite effect), and thus we cannot really imagine a foetus being capable of happiness or pain.’
      • ‘We didn't want our town to get a reputation for being cranky.’
      • ‘Complementary therapies are not cranky, are not pseudo - medicine, and are well-accepted and thriving, even in small towns such as Forres.’
      • ‘Biodynamic theory and practice may sound cranky, but you can't ignore the growing numbers of bluechip wine estates joining the ranks, especially in France.’
      • ‘He was the cranky and quirky old neighbor that everyone had.’
      • ‘Once considered cranky, biodynamic methods are gaining respect worldwide, not least because of their excellent results.’
      • ‘I've also been labelled the ‘eccentric crank of Eldwick’ by a party with an equally cranky name.’
      eccentric, bizarre, weird, peculiar, odd, quirky, avant-garde, unconventional, off-centre, strange, outlandish, ridiculous, ludicrous
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    2. 1.2(of a machine) working badly; shaky.
      ‘the cranky elevator breaks down periodically’
      • ‘He would have had to spend many hours with expensive and cranky machinery in order to make phonetic measurements to correlate with listener judgments.’
      • ‘The old, cranky generator breaks down with an annoying frequency, severing us from the computer and studio lights.’
      • ‘The engine, cranky, rusty, out-of-practice, whirred to life. The entire vehicle began to shake, violently at first, then settling.’



/ˈkraNGkē/ /ˈkræŋki/


Late 18th century (in the sense ‘sickly, in poor health’): perhaps from obsolete (counterfeit) crank ‘a rogue feigning sickness’, from Dutch or German krank ‘sick’.