Definition of cranky in English:


Syllabification: crank·y
Pronunciation: /ˈkraNGkē

adjective (crankier, crankiest)

  • 1chiefly North American Ill-tempered; irritable: he was bored and cranky after eight hours of working
    More example sentences
    • This lack of rest has caused a radical shift in my personality, making me cranky, irritable, and prone to curse loudly at the slightest provocation.
    • Do you find yourself irritable and cranky, taking out your anxiety and frustration on those you love?
    • These individuals are emotionally robust despite their shy demeanour, and they have high standards for themselves, which is why they can seem cranky and irritable.
  • 1.1Eccentric or strange, typically because highly unorthodox: a cranky scheme to pipe ground-level ozone into the stratosphere
    More example sentences
    • In life he was regarded as an awkward customer, a cranky, eccentric figure with a talent for rubbing people up the wrong way.
    • The administrators are cranky and making the strangest decisions.
    • We're not this weird, cranky, fanged minority that is secretly drinking blood in the name of its depraved godlessness!
  • 1.2(Of a machine) working badly; shaky: the cranky elevator breaks down periodically
    More example sentences
    • He would have had to spend many hours with expensive and cranky machinery in order to make phonetic measurements to correlate with listener judgments.
    • The old, cranky generator breaks down with an annoying frequency, severing us from the computer and studio lights.
    • The engine, cranky, rusty, out-of-practice, whirred to life. The entire vehicle began to shake, violently at first, then settling.



More example sentences
  • Kassy shook her head crankily, ‘It's nothing!’
  • I remembered our argument and frowned crankily.
  • I crankily pulled out my emergency credit card.


More example sentences
  • As a person ages, the signs of depression are much more likely to be dismissed as crankiness or grumpiness.
  • The fact that she knows hormones are causing her temporary crankiness doesn't make the feelings any less real, so cut her some slack.
  • If you cut back, your body shows signs of caffeine withdrawal, like headaches, crankiness and sleepiness.


late 18th century (in the sense 'sickly, in poor health'): perhaps from obsolete (counterfeit) crank 'a rogue feigning sickness', from Dutch or German krank 'sick'.

More definitions of cranky

Definition of cranky in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little