By hook or by crook

By hook or by crook
crook crook (kr[oo^]k), n. [OE. crok; akin to Icel. kr[=o]kr hook, bend, SW. krok, Dan. krog, OD. krooke; or cf. Gael. crocan crook, hook, W. crwca crooked. Cf. {Crosier}, {Crotchet}, {Crutch}, {Encroach}.] 1. A bend, turn, or curve; curvature; flexure. [1913 Webster]

Through lanes, and crooks, and darkness. --Phaer. [1913 Webster]

2. Any implement having a bent or crooked end. Especially: (a) The staff used by a shepherd, the hook of which serves to hold a runaway sheep. (b) A bishop's staff of office. Cf. {Pastoral staff}. [1913 Webster]

He left his crook, he left his flocks. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

3. A pothook. ``As black as the crook.'' --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

4. An artifice; trick; tricky device; subterfuge. [1913 Webster]

For all yuor brags, hooks, and crooks. --Cranmer. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mus.) A small tube, usually curved, applied to a trumpet, horn, etc., to change its pitch or key. [1913 Webster]

6. A person given to fraudulent practices; an accomplice of thieves, forgers, etc. [Cant, U.S.] [1913 Webster]

{By hook or by crook}, in some way or other; by fair means or foul. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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