\ ˈkru̇k How to pronounce crook (audio) \
crooked; crooking; crooks

Definition of crook

 (Entry 1 of 3)



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 : 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



Definition of crook (Entry 3 of 3)

Australia and New Zealand
: not right:
c : irritable, angry used especially in the phrase go crook
d : ill, unwell

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Synonyms & Antonyms for crook

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Had the train recently hosted the cast of Cirque du Soleil, perhaps, who insisted on descending head first, arms outstretched, after crooking one knee over the top rung? Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 4 May 2020 Over the last decades, people are using smartphones and gadgets and living a working life by the computer with shoulders crooked forward. Vogue, 16 May 2019 Doing so causes the C930 to spring open slightly, allowing you to crook a finger under the lid and continue opening it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 30 Aug. 2018 Lines that appear straight on the linens were crooked when scanned into a computer. Vipal Monga, WSJ, 30 May 2018 Would crooked Hillary have brought little rocket man to the table? Fox News, 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, 31 Jan. 2018 Mills crooked his head, brow furrowed, and paused a second. Michael Powell, New York Times, 17 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dayton’s historic Edgemont neighborhood is cocooned inside a crook in the Great Miami River, a winding waterway that snakes through the heart of southwest Ohio. Leo Deluca, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 May 2021 The inspiration comes by hook or by crook, from local news reports, essays, and Pinterest pages. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 9 Sep. 2021 According to Nissan, though, Mr. Ghosn was a flat-out crook. Philip Delves Broughton, WSJ, 18 July 2021 The city is nestled in a crook in the Danube River, part of a small chunk of northwest Bulgaria that juts out into a gap between Romania and Serbia. Jonah Goldman Kay,, 11 Aug. 2021 Emily was still so little that Diane held her entirely with her right forearm, Emily’s head in the crook of Diane’s elbow. Curtis Sittenfeld, The Atlantic, 16 July 2021 The crook sharing her story in the first two installments turns out to be an actor, a fact that isn't revealed until the end of her tale. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, 14 July 2021 As reporters shouted questions, a tattoo of a giant eye peered out from the crook of Mr. Pyae Lyan Aung’s elbow, unblinkingly surveying the scene. New York Times, 3 July 2021 By day, Luca is an underwater shepherd who uses his crook to herd a school of fish grazing on a patch of seagrass. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of crook


12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crook


Middle English crok, from Old Norse krōkr hook


probably short for crooked

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Time Traveler for crook

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near crook




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Cite this Entry

“Crook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for crook



English Language Learners Definition of crook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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


\ ˈkru̇k How to pronounce crook (audio) \
crooked\ ˈkru̇kt \; crooking

Kids Definition of crook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on crook

Nglish: Translation of crook for Spanish Speakers

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


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