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See also: Crane, crâne, and crâné


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A crane (bird).
A crane (mechanical).


From Middle English cran, from Old English cran (crane), from Proto-Germanic *kranô (crane), from Proto-Indo-European *gerh₂- (to cry hoarsely). Cognate with Scots cran (crane), Dutch kraan (crane), German Kran (crane).



crane (plural cranes)

  1. Any bird of the family Gruidae, large birds with long legs and a long neck which is extended during flight.
  2. (US, dialect) Ardea herodias, the great blue heron.
  3. A mechanical lifting machine or device, often used for lifting heavy loads for industrial or construction purposes.
  4. An iron arm with horizontal motion, attached to the side or back of a fireplace for supporting kettles etc. over the fire.
  5. A siphon, or bent pipe, for drawing liquors out of a cask.
  6. (nautical) A forked post or projecting bracket to support spars, etc.; generally used in pairs.


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crane (third-person singular simple present cranes, present participle craning, simple past and past participle craned)

  1. (transitive) To extend (one's neck).
    (Can we find and add a quotation of George Eliot to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To raise or lower with, or as if with, a crane.
    • Bates
      What engines, what instruments are used in craning up a soul, sunk below the centre, to the highest heavens.
    • Massinger
      an upstart craned up to the height he has