Two cranes in flight.
- The definition of a crane is a bird with long legs, a long neck and a long bill.
An example of a crane is the Blue Crane of South Africa.
- Crane is defined as a large machine used to lift and move very heavy things.
An example of a crane is the big metal machine used to lift shipping containers off of a cargo ship.
- pl. cranes or
- any of a family (Gruidae) of usually large gruiform wading birds with very long legs and neck, and a long, straight bill
- popularly any of various unrelated birds, as herons and storks
- any of various machines for lifting or moving heavy weights by means of a movable projecting arm or a horizontal beam traveling on an overhead support
- any device with a swinging arm fixed on a vertical axis: a fireplace crane is used for holding a kettle
Origin of craneMiddle English from Old English cran: akin to Dutch kraan, German kranich from Indo-European an unverified form gr-on from base an unverified form ger-: see crow
intransitive verbcraned, cran′ing
- to raise or move with a crane
- to stretch (the neck) as a crane does, as in straining to see over something
- 1899-1932; U.S. poet
- 1871-1900; U.S. novelist & short-story writer
- a. Any of various large wading birds of the family Gruidae, having a long neck, long legs, and a long bill.b. A similar bird, such as a heron.
- A machine for hoisting and moving heavy objects by means of cables attached to a movable boom.
- Any of various devices with a swinging arm, as in a fireplace for suspending a pot.
verbcraned, cran·ing, cranes
- To hoist or move with or as if with a crane.
- To strain and stretch (the neck, for example) in order to see better.
- To stretch one's neck toward something for a better view.
- To be irresolute; hesitate.
Origin of craneMiddle English from Old English cran ; see gerə-2 in Indo-European roots.
top: gray crowned crane
bottom: mechanical crane at a construction site
- A large bird of the order Gruiformes and the family Gruidae having long legs and a long neck which it extends when flying.
- A mechanical lifting device, often used for lifting heavy loads for industrial or construction purposes.
- An iron arm with horizontal motion, attached to the side or back of a fireplace for supporting kettles etc. over the fire.
- A siphon, or bent pipe, for drawing liquors out of a cask.
- (nautical) A forked post or projecting bracket to support spars, etc.; generally used in pairs.
(third-person singular simple present cranes, present participle craning, simple past and past participle craned)