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3 definitions found
 for By hook or by crook
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Hook \Hook\ (h[oo^]k; 277), n. [OE. hok, AS. h[=o]c; cf. D.
     haak, G. hake, haken, OHG. h[=a]ko, h[=a]go, h[=a]ggo, Icel.
     haki, Sw. hake, Dan. hage. Cf. Arquebuse, Hagbut, Hake,
     Hatch a half door, Heckle.]
     1. A piece of metal, or other hard material, formed or bent
        into a curve or at an angle, for catching, holding, or
        sustaining anything; as, a hook for catching fish; a hook
        for fastening a gate; a boat hook, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. That part of a hinge which is fixed to a post, and on
        which a door or gate hangs and turns.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. An implement for cutting grass or grain; a sickle; an
        instrument for cutting or lopping; a billhook.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Like slashing Bentley with his desperate hook.
                                                    --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Steam Engin.) See Eccentric, and V-hook.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. A snare; a trap. [R.] --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. A field sown two years in succession. [Prov. Eng.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. pl. The projecting points of the thigh bones of cattle; --
        called also hook bones.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     8. (Geog.) A spit or narrow cape of sand or gravel turned
        landward at the outer end; as, Sandy Hook in New Jersey.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]
  
     9. (Sports) The curving motion of a ball, as in bowling or
        baseball, curving away from the hand which threw the ball;
        in golf, a curving motion in the direction of the golfer
        who struck the ball.
        [PJC]
  
     10. (Computers) A procedure within the encoding of a computer
         program which allows the user to modify the program so as
         to import data from or export data to other programs.
         [PJC]
  
     By hook or by crook, one way or other; by any means, direct
        or indirect. --Milton. "In hope her to attain by hook or
        crook." --Spenser.
  
     Off the hook, freed from some obligation or difficulty; as,
        to get off the hook by getting someone else to do the job.
        [Colloq.]
  
     Off the hooks, unhinged; disturbed; disordered. [Colloq.]
        "In the evening, by water, to the Duke of Albemarle, whom
        I found mightly off the hooks that the ships are not gone
        out of the river." --Pepys.
  
     On one's own hook, on one's own account or responsibility;
        by one's self. [Colloq. U.S.] --Bartlett.
  
     To go off the hooks, to die. [Colloq.] --Thackeray.
  
     Bid hook, a small boat hook.
  
     Chain hook. See under Chain.
  
     Deck hook, a horizontal knee or frame, in the bow of a
        ship, on which the forward part of the deck rests.
  
     Hook and eye, one of the small wire hooks and loops for
        fastening together the opposite edges of a garment, etc.
        
  
     Hook bill (Zool.), the strongly curved beak of a bird.
  
     Hook ladder, a ladder with hooks at the end by which it can
        be suspended, as from the top of a wall.
  
     Hook motion (Steam Engin.), a valve gear which is reversed
        by V hooks.
  
     Hook squid, any squid which has the arms furnished with
        hooks, instead of suckers, as in the genera
        Enoploteuthis and Onychteuthis.
  
     Hook wrench, a wrench or spanner, having a hook at the end,
        instead of a jaw, for turning a bolthead, nut, or
        coupling.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  by hook or by crook
      adv 1: in any way necessary; "I'll pass this course by hook or
             by crook" [syn: by hook or by crook, by any means]

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