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

  • n. A small opening, as in a wall or rock face; a crevice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. quick; giddy; thoughtless
  • n. A small, narrow opening, fissure, crevice, or chink, as in a wall, or other substance.
  • n. A tool for forming the necks of bottles, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Quick; giddy; thoughtless.
  • n. A small, narrow opening, fissure, crevice, or chink, as in a wall, or other substance.
  • n. A tool for forming the necks of bottles, etc.
  • intransitive v. To crack into, or become full of, crannies.
  • intransitive v. To haunt, or enter by, crannies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become intersected with or penetrated by crannies, clefts, or crevices.
  • To enter by crannies; haunt crannies.
  • Pleasant; brisk; jovial.
  • n. Any small narrow opening, fissure, crevice, or chink, as in a wall, a rock, a tree, etc.
  • n. A tool for forming the necks of glass bottles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a long narrow depression in a surface
  • n. a small opening or crevice (especially in a rock face or wall)


Middle English crani, perhaps alteration of Old French cren, cran, notch, from *crener, to notch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English crany, crani ("cranny"), apparently a diminutive of Middle English *cran (+ -y), from Old French cran, cren ("notch, fissure"), a derivative of Old French crener ("to notch, split"), from Medieval Latin crenō ("split", v), from Vulgar Latin *crinō ("split, break", v), of obscure origin. Despite a spurious use in Pliny, connection to Latin crēna is doubtful. Instead, probably of Germanic or Celtic origin. Compare Old High German chrinna ("notch, groove, crevice"), Alemannic German Krinne ("small crack, channel, groove"), Low German karn ("notch, groove, crevice, cranny"), Old Irish ara-chrinin ("to perish, decay"). (Wiktionary)
Perhaps for cranky. (Wiktionary)


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  • In the weeks which followed, several domiciliary visits were paid, not a shack or tent in Nome escaping, but Fortune lay in his cranny undisturbed.


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  • Nook and cranny, now there's a spoonerism waiting to happen.

    November 25, 2007

  • Often associated with one or more nooks.

    November 24, 2007