Definition of cranky in English:

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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.



Pronunciation: /-kəlē/
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈkraNGkēnəs/
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'.

Words that rhyme with cranky

Frankie, hanky, hanky-panky, lanky, manky, swanky, Yankee

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crank·y

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