\ 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
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, "The Enduring Romance of the Night Train," 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, "Atelier Saman Amel, a Bespoke Tailoring Brand From Sweden, Teams Up With Mr Porter," 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, "Lenovo's dual-display Yoga Book C930 boasts a bigger screen and better 'keyboard'," 30 Aug. 2018 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 The crook submitting the application would then get notified that a BofA account had been opened in his name. Phil Matier,, "D.A. inspector listens to prisoner’s phone call, uncovers huge state unemployment scam," 10 Jan. 2021 Downey’s Harry Lockhart is a small-time crook who stumbles into an audition while fleeing police and gets the part. al, "Looking for offbeat Christmas movies? Don’t stop with ‘Die Hard’," 3 Dec. 2020 An illicit arms dealer hires him, under threat of breaking his violinist girlfriend’s fingers, to solve the murder of the crook’s daughter’s boyfriend, a killing for which the daughter stands accused. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "The Best Books of 2020: Mysteries," 10 Dec. 2020 Dressed in full personal protective equipment (PEE), the photo, taken by a photographer with Getty, shows Varon hugging the man, whose face is hidden from the camera, his head nestled in the crook of Varon’s arm. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "ICU doctor embraces coronavirus patient in viral photo," 2 Dec. 2020 The crook made off with her purse and made a series of her purchases using her credit cards. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "HGTV Star Karen E Laine's Home Was Robbed This Month During Daughter's Wedding Ceremony," 16 Nov. 2020 He's been a cop (a lot) and a crook (also frequently). Sarah Rodman,, "Mandalorian guest star W. Earl Brown reflects on his most famous roles," 9 Nov. 2020 Lyndon Johnson was a wheeling, dealing Texas crook and a friend to the oilman. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "You Say You Want a Revolution," 27 Oct. 2020 Across the street — in the crook of Adams Mill Road and Calvert Street NW — was a vacant lot that was waiting for the right development opportunity. John Kelly, Washington Post, "As a teenager, Walter Pierce just wanted a place to play. So he made his own park.," 22 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for crook

Cite this Entry

“Crook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for crook


How to pronounce crook (audio)

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.

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