A crane is an elegant white bird with a very long neck. You're most likely to see cranes wading near shorelines and in marshy areas.

There are fifteen species of cranes, and almost all of them are endangered. Cranes are known for their odd mating dances and for the fact that they typically mate for life. When you crane your neck, you stretch it in order to get a better view of something — like a crane might do. The tall machine also known as a crane is clearly named for the long-necked bird as well.

Definitions of crane
  1. noun
    large long-necked wading bird of marshes and plains in many parts of the world
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    Grus americana, whooper, whooping crane
    rare North American crane having black-and-white plumage and a trumpeting call
    type of:
    wader, wading bird
    any of many long-legged birds that wade in water in search of food
  2. noun
    lifts and moves heavy objects; lifting tackle is suspended from a pivoted boom that rotates around a vertical axis
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    a crane-like device (usually one of a pair) for suspending or lowering equipment (as a lifeboat)
    a simple crane having lifting tackle slung from a boom
    a crane for moving material with dispatch as in loading and unloading ships
    type of:
    lifting device
    a device for lifting heavy loads
  3. verb
    stretch (the neck) so as to see better
    “The women craned their necks to see the President drive by”
    synonyms: stretch out
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    type of:
    extend, stretch
    extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
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