• IPA: /kɹʊk/
  • (obsolete) IPA: /kɹuːk/

crook (plural crooks)

  1. A bend; turn; curve; curvature; a flexure.
    She held the baby in the crook of her arm.
    • through lanes, and crooks, and darkness
  2. A bending of the knee; a genuflection.
  3. A bent or curved part; a curving piece or portion (of anything).
    the crook of a cane
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, “His Own People”, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗, page 6 ↗:
      It was flood-tide along Fifth Avenue; motor, brougham, and victoria swept by on the glittering current; pretty women glanced out from limousine and tonneau; young men of his own type, silk-hatted, frock-coated, the crooks of their walking sticks tucked up under their left arms, passed on the Park side.
  4. (obsolete) A lock or curl of hair.
  5. (obsolete) A gibbet.
  6. (obsolete) A support beam consisting of a post with a cross-beam resting upon it; a bracket or truss consisting of a vertical piece, a horizontal piece, and a strut.
  7. A shepherd's crook; a staff with a semi-circular bend ("hook") at one end used by shepherds.
    • 1970, The New English Bible with the Apocrypha, Oxford Study Edition, published 1976, Oxford University Press, Psalms 23-4, p.583:
      Even though I walk through a / valley dark as death / I fear no evil, for thou art with me, / thy staff and thy crook are my / comfort.
  8. A bishop's staff of office.
  9. An artifice; a trick; a contrivance.
    • for all your brags, hooks, and crooks
  10. A person who steals, lies, cheats or does other dishonest or illegal things; a criminal.
    • 1973 November 17, Richard Nixon, reported 1973 November 18, The Washington Post, Nixon Tells Editors, ‘I'm Not a Crook’,
      "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I′m not a crook. I′ve earned everything I′ve got."
  11. A pothook.
  12. (music) A small tube, usually curved, applied to a trumpet, horn, etc., to change its pitch or key.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb

crook (crooks, present participle crooking; past and past participle crooked)

  1. (transitive) To bend, or form into a hook.
    He crooked his finger toward me.
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2,
      No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp, / And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee / Where thrift may follow fawning.
    • 1784, William Blake, Songs from An Island in the Moon, in Blake: The Complete Poems, edited by W. H. Stevenson, Routledge, 3rd edition, 2007, p. 50,
      For if a damsel's blind or lame, / Or nature's hand has crooked her frame, / Or if she's deaf or is wall-eyed; / Yet if her heart is well inclined, / Some tender lover she shall find / That panteth for a bride.
    • 1917, Leo Tolstoy, Constance Garnett (translator) Anna Karenina, Part 4, Chapter 5,
      “ […] In the following cases: physical defect in the married parties, desertion without communication for five years,” he said, crooking a short finger covered with hair […] .
  2. (intransitive) To become bent or hooked.
  3. To turn from the path of rectitude; to pervert; to misapply; to twist.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Roger Ascham, (please specify the title of the work), London; republished in The English Works of Roger Ascham, […], London: Printed for R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, […], and J[ohn] Newbery, […], 1761, OCLC 642424485 ↗, page 88 ↗:
      For the foundation of youthe well ſet (as ''{{w
    • 1597, Francis Bacon, "Of Wisdom For a Man's Self," The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral,
      The referring of all to a man's self, is more tolerable in a sovereign prince; because themselves are not only themselves, but their good and evil is at the peril of the public fortune. But it is a desperate evil, in a servant to a prince, or a citizen in a republic. For whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own ends; which must needs be often eccentric to the ends of his master, or state.
Translations Adjective

crook (comparative crooker, superlative crookest)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Bad, unsatisfactory, not up to standard.
    That work you did on my car is crook, mate.
    Not turning up for training was pretty crook.
    • 1981, Herman Charles Bosman, The Collected Works of Herman Charles Bosman, [ page 101],
      The soup was crook. It was onkus. A yellow-bellied platypus couldn′t drink it […]
      “They′re always crook at my home.”
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Ill, sick.
    I′m feeling a bit crook.
  3. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Annoyed, angry; upset.
    be crook at/about; go crook at
    • 2006, Jimmy Butt, Felicity Dargan, I've Been Bloody Lucky: The Story of an Orphan Named Jimmy Butt, [|gone|went+crook+at%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0oUzT8KBE4X5mAX58pWJAg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22go|gone|went%20crook%20at%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 17],
      Ann explained to the teacher what had happened and the nuns went crook at me too.
    • 2007, Jo Wainer, Bess, Lost: Illegal Abortion Stories, [|gone|went+crook+at%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0oUzT8KBE4X5mAX58pWJAg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22go|gone|went%20crook%20at%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 159],
      I went home on the tram, then Mum went crook at me because I was late getting home—I had tickets for Mum and her friend to go to the Regent that night and she was annoyed because I was late.

Proper noun
  1. A town in County Durham, England.
  2. A village in South Lakeland, Cumbria.
  3. A statutory town in Logan County, Colorado, named after George Crook
  4. An unincorporated community in Osage County, Missouri, so named because of a local merchant's business practices (thus being derived from crook).
  5. Surname

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