Definition of crook in English:

crook

Line breaks: crook
Pronunciation: /krʊk
 
/

noun

1The hooked staff of a shepherd: seizing his crook from behind the door, he set off to call his dogs
More example sentences
  • Every year more and more shepherds hang up their crooks.
  • Reaper stood calmly with the base of his scythe planted on the ground, looking like a shepherd with his crook.
  • The shepherd's crook is not for beating the sheep, but for catching hold of them if they go into danger where the shepherd's arm can't reach them.
1.1A bishop’s crozier.
More example sentences
  • Dressed in full regalia with mitre and crook, Bishop David then led a prayer of thanks for the new school and everyone who worked and studied in it.
  • Instead the Mitchell brothers are generally busy making crooks for bishops and hikers.
  • Now I find myself completely unmoved by badges of hierarchy, of mitres and crooks and crowns.
1.2A bend in something, especially at the elbow in a person’s arm: her head was cradled in the crook of Luke’s left arm
More example sentences
  • I tapped a vein in the crook of my elbow to demonstrate.
  • That's not as easy a task as it was when I was a young man, but there one was, neatly in the crook of my elbow.
  • I started getting patches of it in the crook of my elbows, on my neck and around my eyes.
Synonyms
bend, curve, curvature, kink, bow, elbow, angle, fork, intersection
technical flexure
1.3A piece of extra tubing which can be fitted to a brass instrument to lower the pitch by a set interval.
More example sentences
  • Early in the 18th century, horns began to be made on which separate coils of tubing of different lengths, called crooks, could be inserted at the mouthpipe to give the horn a different key.
  • Further notes became available when added lengths of tube, known as crooks or shanks, could be fitted.
2 informal A person who is dishonest or a criminal: the man’s a crook, he’s not to be trusted
More example sentences
  • Bernie's team work hard to catch thieves, whether car crooks or shoplifters.
  • The majority of prisoners are crooks, thugs, murderers and rapists, who took the lives of people and did irreparable damage to women and young girls.
  • The sport, if that's what it is, has seen way more than its fair share of gangsters and con men and other crooks.
Synonyms
criminal, lawbreaker, offender, villain, black hat, delinquent, malefactor, culprit, wrongdoer, transgressor, sinner; young offender, juvenile delinquent; felon, thief, robber, armed robber, burglar, housebreaker, shoplifter, mugger, fraudster, confidence trickster, swindler, racketeer, gunman, gangster, outlaw, bandit, terrorist, rapist; in Japanyakuza
North American informal yardbird, yegg
Australian informal crim
South African informal lighty
West Indian informal tief
British rhyming slang tea leaf
informal , dated cracksman
Lawmalfeasant, misfeasor, infractor
archaic miscreant, trespasser, trusty, transport

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Bend (something, especially a finger as a signal): he crooked a finger for the waitress
More example sentences
  • ‘Don't put your filthy hands on it,’ I said crooking a finger at her.
  • ‘Come with me,’ she said calmly, crooking her finger at him, turning and walking down the corridor.
  • Caroline stopped walking and turned to her husband, crooking her finger.
Synonyms
cock, flex, bend, curve, curl, angle, hook, bow

adjective

Australian/NZ informal Back to top  
1Bad, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory: it was pretty crook on the land in the early 1970s
More example sentences
  • So laughter is the answer to all the crook things that happen.
  • This is about units in the normal market, which are regarded by many as a crook investment at the best of times.
  • We had a bad phone call at about 1.30 in the morning and after that have had a couple of crook letters.
1.1(Of a person or a part of the body) unwell or injured: a crook knee
More example sentences
  • Michael came to Britain when his frail crook father returned and gave himself up in May, after 35 years on the run.
  • ‘I'm not a doctor but if blokes are crook they should stay home,’ he said.
  • And despite battling a weak heart and a crook knee, Donald can't see himself giving away his volunteer work anytime soon.
1.2Dishonest; illegal: some pretty crook things went on there
More example sentences
  • For the most part, this is true; nobody really needs a third party to inform them that their boss is a crook bastard.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'hooked tool or weapon'): from Old Norse krókr 'hook'. A noun sense 'deceit, guile, trickery' (compare with crooked) was recorded in Middle English but was obsolete by the 17th century The Australian senses are abbreviations of crooked.

Phrases

be crook on

Australian/NZ informal Be annoyed by: you’re crook on me because I didn’t walk out with you
More example sentences
  • What fascinated me though was in Wallace's communist football Utopia he was crook on what some clubs were able to pay their assistant coaches.
  • I was crook on them, but fortunately with time you learn to give it up.
  • ‘What a relief, I'd have been crook on myself if I'd have mucked up then, ’.

go crook

Australian/NZ informal Lose one’s temper: we rolled him for his overcoat—you ought to have heard him go crook
More example sentences
  • And if that happens, you don't tend to go crook at your partner, and if you do go crook at your partner, well then you have little chance of being a good doubles players I think.
  • He invited me in just in case Bev went crook.

Derivatives

crookery

noun
More example sentences
  • The Guardian summarised these difficulties rather well: ‘Missing [but not kidnapped or murdered] children, jealous spouses, petty crookery, ostrich rustling and beauty contest corruption.’
  • When we each get up to our particular bit of crookery and deviousness we don't say, ‘I'm stealing or cheating’ we say ‘I'm beating the system.’
  • Our adult children now all do their banking on the internet and are happy to take their chances with electronic crookery, but I am of the old school who likes to see the whites of a teller's eyes when making a deposit.

Definition of crook in:

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