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Etymology 1[edit]

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).


crook ‎(plural crooks)

  1. A bend; turn; curve; curvature; a flexure.
    She held the baby in the crook of her arm.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Phaer
      through lanes, and crooks, and darkness
  2. A bending of the knee; a genuflection.
  3. A bent or curved part; a curving piece or portion (of anything).
    the crook of a cane
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter I, The Younger Set:
      It was flood-tide along Fifth Avenue; motor, brougham, and victoria swept by on the glittering current; pretty women glanced out from limousine and tonneau; young men of his own type, silk-hatted, frock-coated, the 'crooks of their walking sticks tucked up under their left arms, passed on the Park side.
  4. (obsolete) A lock or curl of hair.
  5. (obsolete) A gibbet.
  6. (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.
  7. A shepherd's crook; a staff with a semi-circular bend ("hook") at one end used by shepherds.
    • 1970, The New English Bible with the Apocrypha, Oxford Study Edition, published 1976, Oxford University Press, Psalms 23-4, p.583:
      Even though I walk through a / valley dark as death / I fear no evil, for thou art with me, / thy staff and thy crook are my / comfort.
  8. A bishop's staff of office.
  9. An artifice; a trick; a contrivance.
  10. A person who steals, lies, cheats or does other dishonest or illegal things; a criminal.
  11. A pothook.
  12. (music) A small tube, usually curved, applied to a trumpet, horn, etc., to change its pitch or key.
Derived terms[edit]


crook ‎(third-person singular simple present crooks, present participle crooking, simple past and past participle crooked)

  1. (transitive) To bend.
    He crooked his finger toward me.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      Crook the pregnant hinges of the knee.
    • 1917, Leo Tolstoy, Constance Garnett (translator)Anna Karenina, Part 4, Chapter 5,
      [] In the following cases: physical defect in the married parties, desertion without communication for five years,” he said, crooking a short finger covered with hair [] .
  2. To turn from the path of rectitude; to pervert; to misapply; to twist.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Ascham
      There is no one thing that crooks youth more than such unlawful games.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Bacon
      Whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own ends.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From crooked ‎(dishonestly come by). [1]


crook ‎(comparative more crook, superlative most crook)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Bad, unsatisfactory, not up to standard.
    That work you did on my car is crook, mate
    Not turning up for training was pretty crook.
    Things are crook at Tallarook.
    • 2004, Robert Barnard, A Cry from the Dark, page 21,
      “Things are crook at home at the moment.”
      “They′re always crook at my home.”
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Ill, sick.
    I′m feeling a bit crook.
  3. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) Annoyed, angry; upset.
    be crook at/about; go crook at
    • 2006, Jimmy Butt, Felicity Dargan, I've Been Bloody Lucky: The Story of an Orphan Named Jimmy Butt, page 17,
      Ann explained to the teacher what had happened and the nuns went crook at me too.
    • 2007, Jo Wainer, Bess, Lost: Illegal Abortion Stories, page 159,
      I went home on the tram, then Mum went crook at me because I was late getting home—I had tickets for Mum and her friend to go to the Regent that night and she was annoyed because I was late.
    • 2007, Ruby Langford Ginibi, Don′t Take Your Love to Town, page 100,
      I went crook at them for not telling me and as soon as she was well enough I took her home to the camping area and she soon picked up.
    • 2009, Carolyn Landon, Cups With No Handles: Memoir of a Grassroots Activist, page 234,
      Mum went crook at me for wasting money, but when Don got a job and spent all his money on a racing bike, she didn′t say a thing to him.

Usage notes[edit]

Synthetic comparative and superlative forms (crooker, crookest) also find frequent use.

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Australian National Dictionary Centre Home » Australian words » Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms » C