adjective (1)
\ ˈkraŋ-kē How to pronounce cranky (audio) \
crankier; crankiest

Definition of cranky

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : given to fretful fussiness : readily angered when opposed : crotchety our long wait … left us a tad crankyConnecticut
b : marked by eccentricity his bizarre and cranky mix of ideas and beliefs— R. J. Evans
2 : full of twists and turns : tortuous a cranky road
3 : working erratically : unpredictable a cranky old tractor
4 dialect : crazy, silly


adjective (2)

Definition of cranky (Entry 2 of 2)

of a boat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cranky

Adjective (1)

crankily \ ˈkraŋ-​kə-​lē How to pronounce cranky (audio) \ adverb
crankiness \ ˈkraŋ-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce cranky (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cranky

Synonyms: Adjective (1)

Antonyms: Adjective (1)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

First Known Use of cranky

Adjective (1)

1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective (2)

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cranky

Adjective (1)

crank entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About cranky

Dictionary Entries Near cranky

crank web


cranky fan

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cranky

Cite this Entry

“Cranky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cranky


\ ˈkraŋ-kē How to pronounce cranky (audio) \
crankier; crankiest

Kids Definition of cranky

: easily angered or irritated "If I don't eat, I get cranky."— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder

Other Words from cranky

crankiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on cranky

Nglish: Translation of cranky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cranky for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!