Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An implement or tool, such as a bishop's crosier or a shepherd's staff, with a bent or curved part.
  • noun A part that is curved or bent like a hook.
  • noun A curve or bend; a turn.
  • noun Informal One who makes a living by dishonest methods.
  • intransitive verb To make a crook in; bend.
  • intransitive verb To bend or curve.
  • adjective Out of order; faulty.
  • adjective Not well; ill.
  • adjective Of poor quality; inferior.
  • adjective Not honest; crooked.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any bend, turn, or curve; a curvature; a flexure: as, a crook in a river or in a piece of timber.
  • noun A bending of the knee; a genuflection.
  • noun A bent or curved part; a curving piece or portion of anything: as, the crook of a cane or of an umbrella-handle.
  • noun An instrument or implement having a crook, or distinguished by its curved form.
  • noun The pastoral staff of a bishop or an abbot, fashioned in the form of a shepherd's staff, as a symbol of his sway over and care for his flock. Such staves are generally gilt, ornamented with jewels, and enriched by carving, etc. Compare pastoral staff, under staff.
  • noun A hook hung in an open chimney to support a pot or kettle; a pot-hook or trammel.
  • noun In music: A short tube, either curved or straight, that may be inserted into various metal wind-instruments so as to lengthen their tube, and thus lower their fundamental tone or key. The curved metal tube between the mouthpiece and the body of a bassoon.
  • noun A sickle.
  • noun A lock or curl of hair. Compare crocket.
  • noun A gibbet.
  • noun A support consisting of a post or pile with a cross-beam resting upon it; a bracket or truss consisting of a vertical piece, a horizontal piece, and a strut.
  • noun An artifice; a trick; a contrivance.
  • noun A dishonest person; one who is crooked in conduct; a tricky or underhand schemer; a thief; a swindley.
  • noun A name given to both the parenthesis ( ) and the square bracket [].
  • To bend; cause to assume an angular or a curved form; make a curve or hook in.
  • To curl (hair). Ayenbite of Inwit, p. 176.
  • To turn; pervert; misapply.
  • To thwart.
  • To bend or be bent; be turned from a right line; curve; wind.
  • Specifically To bend the knee; crouch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bend, turn, or curve; curvature; flexure.
  • noun Any implement having a bent or crooked end.
  • noun The staff used by a shepherd, the hook of which serves to hold a runaway sheep.
  • noun A bishop's staff of office. Cf. Pastoral staff.
  • noun A pothook.
  • noun An artifice; trick; tricky device; subterfuge.
  • noun (Mus.) A small tube, usually curved, applied to a trumpet, horn, etc., to change its pitch or key.
  • noun Cant, U.S. A person given to fraudulent practices; an accomplice of thieves, forgers, etc.
  • noun in some way or other; by fair means or foul.
  • transitive verb To turn from a straight line; to bend; to curve.
  • transitive verb Archaic To turn from the path of rectitude; to pervert; to misapply; to twist.
  • intransitive verb To bend; to curve; to wind; to have a curvature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bend; turn; curve; curvature; a flexure.
  • noun A bending of the knee; a genuflection.
  • noun A bent or curved part; a curving piece or portion (of anything).
  • noun obsolete A lock or curl of hair.
  • noun obsolete A gibbet.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A shepherd's crook; a staff with a semi-circular bend ("hook") at one end used by shepherds.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English crok, from Old Norse krōkr.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From crooked or crook.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From crooked ("dishonestly come by").

Examples

Comments

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  • "Either by hooke or crooke, by night or day."

    - Philip Stubbes, 'The Anatomie of Abuses', 1583.

    August 18, 2009

  • crook in Australia is more likely to be used as an adjective to mean sick. The cook is crook is no indication of their criminality.

    June 3, 2012