\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : any of a family (Gruidae of the order Gruiformes) of tall wading birds superficially resembling the herons but structurally more nearly related to the rails
2 : any of several herons
3 : an often horizontal projection swinging about a vertical axis: such as
a : a machine for raising, shifting, and lowering heavy weights by means of a projecting swinging arm or with the hoisting apparatus supported on an overhead track
b : an iron arm in a fireplace for supporting kettles
c : a boom for holding a motion-picture or television camera


craned; craning

Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to raise or lift by or as if by a crane
2 : to stretch toward an object of attention craning her neck to get a better view

intransitive verb

1 : to stretch one's neck toward an object of attention I craned out of the window of my compartment— Webb Waldron


biographical name (1)
\ ˈkrān How to pronounce Crane (audio) \

Definition of Crane (Entry 3 of 5)

(Harold) Hart 1899–1932 American poet


biographical name (2)

Definition of Crane (Entry 4 of 5)

Stephen 1871–1900 American writer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Crane (Entry 5 of 5)

Walter 1845–1915 English artist

Illustration of crane

Illustration of crane


crane 1

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms & Antonyms for crane

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of crane in a Sentence

Verb We craned our necks toward the stage. craned her head to see the roof
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Mermaid was raised out of the Danube by a huge floating crane on June 11. USA TODAY, "Cruise ship captain charged in deadly Danube River collision," 30 Nov. 2019 Before dawn on Monday, it will be removed by a crane. Nancy Coleman, New York Times, "They Keep Times Square in Order, and a Statue Front and Center," 29 Nov. 2019 It was brought Friday from Palmyra, Pa., and was lifted into place Saturday by crane. Washington Post, "Police seek public’s help after man is shot to death in Northeast D.C.," 28 Oct. 2019 Aerial images showed the boat slowly being brought to surface by a crane near Santa Cruz Island. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The wreckage of the Conception dive boat has been lifted off the ocean floor," 13 Sep. 2019 In Nashville, a surging economy has led to a recent construction boom, with cranes dotting the skyline. New York Times, "Black and White and Redone all Over," 20 Nov. 2019 The town is one big construction site, cranes everywhere. Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, "I Bought an Elephant to Find Out How to Save Them," 12 Nov. 2019 On Saturday night, thousands gathered at a Christian memorial service for Chow, singing hymns and laying white flowers and paper cranes at a makeshift stage in a downtown park., "HONG KONG — Police in Hong Kong said Saturday that they have arrested and charged six pro-democracy lawmakers, a move that could escalate public fury a day after the death of a university student linked to months of antigovernment protests in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.," 10 Nov. 2019 On Saturday night, thousands gathered at a memorial service for Chow, singing hymns and laying white flowers and paper cranes at a makeshift stage in a downtown park. Eileen Ng,, "Arrested Hong Kong lawmakers vow revenge at upcoming election," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Coupled with the snow already on the hood, this created a mound of snow and resulted in her head craned upward, like a spectator trying to see the green at a golf tournament. Joe Soucheray, Twin Cities, "Soucheray: Could we scrape up just a little regard for our cars — and for others on the road, including pedestrians?," 30 Nov. 2019 Biles landed her triple twisting-double somersault Sunday, getting so much height on the move the folks in the first half-dozen rows had to crane their necks to see her. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Simone Biles reasserts herself as greatest gymnast ever with sixth U.S. national championship," 7 Aug. 2019 Hester quickly craned her neck toward Matthew and tried, through the haze of the studio spotlights, to meet his eye. David Canfield,, "See the anticipated cover for Harlan Coben's next page-turner," 5 Nov. 2019 Pedestrians crane their necks to view the structures while stopped on a crowded sidewalk. Johnny Simon, Quartzy, "Photographer removes cars and people to show the beauty of New York City architecture," 3 Oct. 2019 Up to 300 people might visit on a July or August night, but on this May evening, only 100 visitors craned their necks to the sky and tilted their ears to a dozen staffers and volunteers who were describing the sights. Erin E. Williams, Twin Cities, "A window to the universe is open in Oregon," 24 Sep. 2019 The many visitors craning their necks saw views throughout the first and second levels of carefully repainted, retouched and restored ceiling art from the 1930s. Jonathan Pitts,, "‘This is amazing!’: Thousands pack Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Central Library after massive renovation," 14 Sep. 2019 Maddox craned his cell phone to get a video of the Powell-Mason cable car gliding onto the wooden turntable, where a grip operator jumped out to push it. Rachel Swan,, "SF’s iconic cable cars will be down for 10 days for gear-box replacement," 3 Sep. 2019 Moore was sitting in the middle of the theatre, and other members of the audience craned their necks to catch a glimpse. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "“American Factory,” a New Netflix Film from the Obamas, Explores the Challenges of a Globalized Economy," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crane


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1570, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crane


Middle English cran, from Old English; akin to Old High German krano crane, Greek geranos, Latin grus

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Time Traveler for crane

Time Traveler

The first known use of crane was before the 12th century

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Statistics for crane

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Crane.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for crane


How to pronounce Crane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a big machine with a long arm that is used by builders for lifting and moving heavy things
: a type of tall bird that has a long neck and long legs and lives near water



English Language Learners Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch out (your neck) in order to see better


\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Kids Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large tall wading bird with a long neck, bill, and legs
2 : a machine with a swinging arm for lifting and carrying heavy weights


craned; craning

Kids Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch the neck to see better Neighbors craned out the window to see the parade.

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More from Merriam-Webster on crane

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crane

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crane

Spanish Central: Translation of crane

Nglish: Translation of crane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crane for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crane

Comments on crane

What made you want to look up crane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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