1. a sharp, hard, nonresonant sound, like that produced by two pieces of metal striking, one against the other: the clank of chains; the clank of an iron gate slamming shut.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make such a sound.
  2. to move with such sounds: The old jalopy clanked up the hill.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to make a sharp sound, as metal in collision: He clanked the shovel against the pail.
  2. to place, put, set, etc., with a clank: to clank the cell door shut.


  1. an abrupt harsh metallic sound


  1. to make or cause to make such a sound
  2. (intr) to move or operate making such a sound

1610s, perhaps echoic, perhaps a blend of clang (v.) and clink (v.), perhaps from a Low German source (cf. Middle Dutch clank, Dutch klank, Old High German klanc, Middle Low German klank, German Klang).


1650s, from clank (v.). Reduplicated form clankety-clank attested from 1895.

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