crook

verb
\ ˈkru̇k \
crooked; crooking; crooks

Definition of crook 

(Entry 1 of 3)

crook

noun

Definition of crook (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an implement having a bent or hooked form: such as

a : pothook

b(1) : a shepherd's staff

(2) : crosier sense 1

2 : a part of something that is hook-shaped, curved, or bent the crook of an umbrella handle

3 : bend, curve

4 : a person who engages in fraudulent or criminal practices

crook

adjective

Definition of crook (Entry 3 of 3)

Australia and New Zealand

: not right:

a : unsatisfactory

b : dishonest, crooked

c : irritable, angry used especially in the phrase go crook

d : ill, unwell

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for crook

Synonyms: Verb

arch, bend, bow, curve, hook, swerve

Synonyms: Noun

criminal, culprit, lawbreaker, malefactor, miscreant, offender

Antonyms: Verb

straighten, unbend, uncurl

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of crook in a Sentence

Verb

He crooked his finger at us and led us to the table. the road suddenly crooked to the left

Noun

He thinks politicians are just a bunch of crooks. the crook of his arm The squirrel sat in the crook of the tree. the crook of the cane
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lines that appear straight on the linens were crooked when scanned into a computer. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "The Quest to Recover a Lost Frank Lloyd Wright Building," 30 May 2018 Would crooked Hillary have brought little rocket man to the table? Fox News, "Hannity: The Mueller investigation is a perjury trap," 2 May 2018 Mother daughter teas are a particularly fun opportunity for mothers and daughters to dress up, crook their pinkies while eating tiny sandwiches, sip tea, and spend quality time together. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Why We Love the Tradition of Mother Daughter Teas," 31 Jan. 2018 Mills crooked his head, brow furrowed, and paused a second. Michael Powell, New York Times, "At Knicks’ Facility, Hopeful Talk and Lessons Learned (or Maybe Not)," 17 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some skimmers must be physically retrieved by the criminals to capture consumers’ payment data, but newer types use Bluetooth technology to send out the information to crooks. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Beware Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations This July Fourth, Secret Service Warns," 3 July 2018 Obama came out strongly for the U.S. World Cup campaign for 2018 and 2022 as well, getting chummy with Sepp Blatter, writing letters to and meeting with the soccer politician – later to be exposed as a master crook. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Give Trump credit for USA getting the World Cup," 13 June 2018 On a recent sunny day after work, the 38-year-old walked his English sheepdog, named Magnificent, along Baker Street, keeping an eye out for crooks. San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco’s auto burglary hot spots," 17 Mar. 2018 The expected parliamentary logjam as Britain replaces EU laws with its own could bring another fillip for crooks. The Economist, "Gangsters’ paradiseBrexit presents new opportunities for organised crime," 24 Jan. 2018 The transfer of know-how from rich countries to poorer ones, by hook or crook, is an integral part of economic development. The Economist, "America Inc and the rage against Beijing," 28 June 2018 With the Champions League final knotted in a scoreless tie, the 32-year-old defender pinned the arm of Liverpool’s top scorer, Mohamed Salah, in the crook of his own, then drove his body to the turf. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Sergio Ramos, the World Cup and the Benefits of Bad Sportsmanship," 13 June 2018 And, when sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth with the crook of your arm rather than with your hands. Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Influenza B surging as overall flu cases fall — and it's deadlier in kids, experts say | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Mar. 2018 Set in a near-future Los Angeles, Hotel Artemis follows a nurse (Foster) who runs a secret, members-only emergency medical ward for would-be crooks. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Steals the Show With $41.5M Opening," 10 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of crook

Verb

12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crook

Noun

Middle English crok, from Old Norse krōkr hook

Adjective

probably short for crooked

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crook

Dictionary Entries near crook

crooch

crood

croodle

crook

crookback

crookbill

crooked

Statistics for crook

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crook

The first known use of crook was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crook

crook

verb

English Language Learners Definition of crook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bend (your finger, neck, or arm)

crook

noun

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

: a dishonest person

: a criminal

: the place where part of the body (such as an arm, leg, or finger) bends

crook

verb
\ ˈkru̇k \
crooked\ˈkru̇kt \; crooking

Kids Definition of crook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: bend entry 1 sense 1, curve She crooked her finger.

crook

noun

Kids Definition of crook (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a dishonest person (as a thief)

2 : a shepherd's staff with one end curved into a hook

3 : a curved or hooked part of a thing : bend He held it in the crook of his arm.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on crook

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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