noun \ˈkrā-tər\

: a large round hole in the ground made by the explosion of a bomb or by something falling from the sky

: the area on top of a volcano that is shaped like a bowl

Full Definition of CRATER

a :  the bowl-shaped depression around the orifice of a volcano
b :  a depression formed by an impact (as of a meteorite)
c :  a hole in the ground made by the explosion of a bomb or shell
:  an eroded lesion
:  a dimple in a painted surface
cra·ter·like \ˈkrā-tər-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of CRATER

  1. Scientists believe the enormous crater was created by the impact of a meteorite thousands of years ago.
  2. We flew over the crater of the volcano in a helicopter.

Origin of CRATER

Latin, mixing bowl, crater, from Greek kratēr, from kerannynai to mix; akin to Sanskrit śrīṇāti he mixes
First Known Use: 1613

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale



: to fail or fall suddenly

Full Definition of CRATER

intransitive verb
:  to exhibit or form craters
:  to fail or fall suddenly and dramatically :  collapse, crash <the deal cratered> <cratering stock prices>
transitive verb
:  to form craters in

Examples of CRATER

  1. The deal cratered when neither party could agree on the final price.
  2. Stock prices cratered after the companies' merger.

First Known Use of CRATER


Rhymes with CRATER


Definition of CRATER

variant of krater

Other Archaeology Terms

Attic, Byzantine, Paleolithic, cairn, core, flint, horizon, neolithic, shard, stratum


noun \ˈkrāt-ər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CRATER

: an eroded lesion of a wall or surface <ulcer craters>


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Circular depression in the surface of a planetary body. Most craters are the result of impacts of meteorites or of volcanic explosions. Meteorite craters are more common on the Moon and Mars and on other planets and natural satellites than on Earth, because most meteorites either burn up in the Earth's atmosphere before reaching its surface or erosion soon obscures the impact site. Craters made by exploding volcanoes (e.g., Crater Lake, Ore.) are more common on the Earth than on the Moon, Mars, or Jupiter's moon Io, where they have also been identified.


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