What does the idiom "every nook and cranny" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. every nook and cranny meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "every nook and cranny"


The phrase “every nook and cranny” is a phrase used to express thoroughness, or the idea of exploring or examining something in great detail and from every angle. By using “nook” and “cranny” it implies that something is being searched or examined with great care to ensure nothing is overlooked, especially a place or area that may have hidden or difficult to find areas.


The phrase “every nook and cranny” has its origins in the Old English word “cnocc” which means a corner. The word “cranny” entered the English language in the mid-1400s, originating from the French word “cran”, meaning corner. The use of the phrase “nook and cranny” as an idiom to refer to an item or place being thoroughly examined dates to the early 1800s and is still in use today.


The phrase “every nook and cranny” is used in both a literal and figurative sense. When used in a literal sense, the phrase is referring to an actual physical place that is being searched thoroughly, such as a house or room. In a figurative sense, the phrase is usually used to refer to an idea or concept being examined in great detail, such as an argument or a story. It is also commonly used when talking about researching or gathering information, such as when a researcher is gathering all the data they need for a project, or a detective is investigating a crime.

Example Sentences

  • I was looking for my keys all night, I searched every nook and cranny in the house.
  • The teacher asked us to explore the history of the War of 1812 in every nook and cranny.
  • The detective looked into the case with great detail, leaving no nook and cranny unexplored.
  • We uncovered a new detail after exploring every nook and cranny of the argument.

The meanings of the words in the "every nook and cranny" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.


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