General English


  • A machine for raising, shifting, or lowering heavy weights, commonly by means of a projecting swinging arm.

Media Studies

  • noun a large movable arm for a camera on which the cameraman and assistants can stand when filming
  • noun a moving platform with a long support for a film or television camera


  • noun a tall machine with a long arm, designed for lifting heavy objects

Real Estate

  • noun a large machine used to lift and move heavy objects by means of a hook attached to cables suspended from a supporting, usually movable, beam

Origin & History of “crane”

Crane is a widespread Indo-European bird-name: related forms such as Latin grūs, Greek géranos (source of English geranium, also known as crane’s-bill, from the long pointed ‘beak’ of its fruit), and Welsh garan point to a prehistoric Indo-European base *ger-, possibly imitative of the bird’s raucous call. The resemblance of a crane lowering its long neck to feed or drink to the operation of a lifting apparatus with a long jib led to the application of crane to the latter in the 14th century (French grue and German kran show a similar semantic development). Cranberry (17th c.) is a borrowing (originally American) of German cranbeere, literally ‘craneberry’, so named from the stamens, which supposedly resemble a beak.