Crooked vs crooked

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Crooked and crooked  are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words crooked and crooked, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences. 

Crooked (KROOKT) is the past tense of the verb, crook, which means to bend or curve out of shape. Related words are crook, crooks, crooking. Crooked is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. The verb crook was derived from the Old English word, crōcian.

Crooked (KROO kid) is an adjective that means bent or not straight. Crooked may be used literally or it may be used figuratively to describe something or someone who is dishonest or illegal. The adjective crooked was also formed from the Old English word, crōcian, and has been in use in a literal and figurative sense since the 1200s.


At a funeral service last month, Jannie Jones locked eyes with Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn across the church sanctuary and crooked a finger, beckoning him to come over to the pew where she sat. (AP News)

Standing in the center of the courtroom, he crooked his arm in front of him and stared at his wristwatch. (Chicago Reader)

Angelina Jolie suffered a hair malfunction on The Eternals red carpet at the 16th Rome Film Festival with crooked hair extensions. (Mirror)

Crooked con man, Willie, lives a life of booze and bad decisions. (Shropshire Star)