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See also: Crook




  • IPA(key): /kɹʊk/
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /kɹuːk/[1]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊk

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English croke, crok, from Old English *crōc (hook, bend, crook), from Proto-Germanic *krōkaz (bend, hook), from Proto-Indo-European *greg- (tracery, basket, bend). Cognate with Dutch kreuk (a bend, fold, wrinkle), Middle Low German kroke, krake (fold, wrinkle), Danish krog (crook, hook), Swedish krok (crook, hook), Icelandic krókur (hook).


crook (plural crooks)

  1. A bend; turn; curve; curvature; a flexure.
    She held the baby in the crook of her arm.
  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, chapter I, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 24962326:
      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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)
  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.
  10. A person who steals, lies, cheats or does other dishonest or illegal things; a criminal.
  11. A pothook.
  12. (music) A small tube, usually curved, applied to a trumpet, horn, etc., to change its pitch or key.

Derived termsEdit


crook (third-person singular simple present crooks, present participle crooking, simple 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, [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.
    • 1545, Roger Ascham, Toxophilus, edited by Edward Arber, Westminster: A. Constable & Co., 1895, pp. 57-8, [3]
      For the foundation of youth well sette (as Plato doth saye) the whole bodye of the commune wealth shall floryshe therafter. If the yonge tree growe croked, when it is oulde, a man shal rather breake it than streyght it. And I thinke there is no one thinge yat crokes youth more then suche vnlefull games.
    • 1597, Francis Bacon, "Of Wisdom For a Man's Self," The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral, [4]
      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.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From crooked (dishonestly come by). [2]


crook (comparative more crook, superlative most crook)

  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.
    Things are crook at Tallarook.
    • 2004, Robert Barnard, A Cry from the Dark[5], page 21:
      “Things are crook at home at the moment.”
      “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, 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, 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.
    • 2007, Ruby Langford Ginibi, Don′t Take Your Love to Town[6], page 100:
      I went crook at them for not telling me and as soon as she was well enough I took her home to the camping area and she soon picked up.
    • 2009, Carolyn Landon, Cups With No Handles: Memoir of a Grassroots Activist[7], page 234:
      Mum went crook at me for wasting money, but when Don got a job and spent all his money on a racing bike, she didn′t say a thing to him.
Usage notesEdit

Synthetic comparative and superlative forms (crooker, crookest) also find frequent use.

Derived termsEdit