crankier; crankiest
: given to fretful fussiness : readily angered when opposed : crotchety
Our long wait … left us a tad cranky.Connecticut
: marked by eccentricity
… his bizarre and cranky mix of ideas and beliefs …R. J. Evans
: full of twists and turns : tortuous
a cranky road
: working erratically : unpredictable
a cranky old tractor
dialect : silly, eccentric
crankily adverb
crankiness noun


2 of 2

adjective (2)

of a boat

Examples of cranky in a Sentence

Adjective (1) that old typewriter is handy sometimes, but rather cranky these days the baby was cranky after not being fed for hours if cranky children don't appreciate what they already have, then they shouldn't get a thing more that's just another of his cranky theories about the CIA the man would inflict on innocent bystanders his cranky ruminations on world events
Recent Examples on the Web
Leaving it behind means arriving at your destination tired, probably cranky, and with a sore neck that could linger throughout the first days of your trip. Olivia Young, Travel + Leisure, 19 May 2024 Could the cranky bum (Nicholas Cassim) who keeps hanging around be…the Cage character? Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 18 May 2024 The connection between the imaginary friends turns out to be Cal (Ryan Reynolds), a cranky upstairs neighbor who seems to be the only other person who can see them. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2024 On her recent return to Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live for a milestone fifth time, Kristen Wiig dusted off one of her fan favorite characters, cranky cinephile Aunt Linda. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 2 May 2024 Retreating to their home turf in London, the boys are allowed to continue solving cases with the help of Crystal and their new overseer, the cranky Night Nurse (Ruth Connell) from the Afterlife Lost & Found Department, who spent the season trying to force them to move on. Hunter Ingram, Variety, 25 Apr. 2024 Their military forces, the Imperium, are led by Darth Vader, sorry, Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein), who wakes up understandably cranky after his near-death experience in the previous film. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Apr. 2024 Attempts to reset safety standards have caused a major slowdown in production that is leaving customers cranky. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 12 Apr. 2024 During the episode, Springsteen meets with David to talk about the cranky comedian’s activism in Atlanta. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cranky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective (1)

crank entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective (2)

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cranky was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near cranky

Cite this Entry

“Cranky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


crankier; crankiest
: easily angered or irritated
: hard to handle
a cranky boat

More from Merriam-Webster on cranky

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