crack

verb
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \
cracked; cracking; cracks

Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a very sharp explosive sound The whip cracks through the air.
2 : to break, split, or snap apart The statue cracked when she dropped it.
3 : fail: such as
a : to lose control or effectiveness under pressure often used with upThe stress was so great that she started to crack up.
b : to fail in tone His voice cracked.
4 : to go or travel at good speed usually used with onThe steamboat cracked on.

transitive verb

1a : to break so that fissures appear on the surface crack a mirror
b : to break with a sudden sharp sound crack nuts
2 : to tell especially suddenly or strikingly crack a joke
3 : to strike with a sharp noise : rap then cracks him over the head cracked a two-run homer in the eighth
4a(1) : to open (something, such as a bottle) for drinking
(2) : to open (a book) for studying
b : to puzzle out and expose, solve, or reveal the mystery of crack a code
c : to break into crack a safe
d : to open slightly crack the throttle
e : to break through (something, such as a barrier) so as to gain acceptance or recognition … on track to crack Hollywood after landing a big screen role.— Ed Gleave and Peter Dyke
f : to show or begin showing (a smile) especially reluctantly or uncharacteristically
5a : to impair seriously or irreparably : wreck crack an opponent's courage
b : to destroy the tone of (a voice)
c : disorder, craze Worry had cracked his otherwise cheerful disposition.
d : to interrupt sharply or abruptly The criticism cracked our complacency.
6 : to cause to make a sharp noise cracks his knuckles
7a(1) : to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking
(2) : to produce by cracking cracked gasoline
b : to break up (chemical compounds) into simpler compounds by means of heat
crack the whip
: to adopt or apply an authoritative, tyrannical, or threatening approach or policy (as in demanding harder work from employees) The team needs a coach who isn't afraid to crack the whip.
crack wise
: to make a wisecrack The comedian often cracked wise about prominent politicians.

crack

noun

Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a loud roll or peal a crack of thunder
b : a sudden sharp noise the crack of rifle fire
2 : a sharp witty remark : quip
3a : a narrow break : fissure a crack in the ice
b : a narrow opening Leave the door open a crack. cracks between floorboards used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left outa player who fell through the cracks in the college draftChildren slipping through the cracks of available youth services.
4a : a weakness or flaw caused by decay, age, or deficiency : unsoundness
b : a broken tone of the voice
5 : moment, instant the crack of dawn
7 : a sharp resounding blow gave him a crack on the head
8 : an attempt or opportunity to do something her first crack at writing a novel got first crack at the job opening
9 or crack cocaine : a potent form of cocaine that is obtained by treating the hydrochloride of cocaine with sodium bicarbonate to create small chips used illicitly for smoking

crack

adjective

Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: of superior excellence or ability a crack marksman

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Examples of crack in a Sentence

Verb The hailstones were big enough to crack some windows. He cracked his collarbone in a skiing accident. The mirror cracked when she dropped it. Workers cracked the large rock into three pieces so it could be moved. The bird cracked the seed on a tree branch. a tool used for cracking nuts He cracked open the eggs. Someone cracked him over the head with a beer bottle. The baby cracked her chin pretty hard when she fell. He fell and cracked his elbow on the ice. Noun The crack runs all the way from the top of the wall to the bottom. an old patio with grass growing up through the cracks The vase has a few fine cracks, but it is still usable. I could see them through the crack in the doorway. Light came through the cracks in the walls of the barn. Adjective The company has a crack sales force. known as one of the college's crack tennis players
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even when the Texans finally cracked the scoreboard, when Watson scrambled to his left and dived over the pylon, the Chiefs rendered the touchdown moot. Dave Skretta, BostonGlobe.com, "Chiefs overcome 24-point deficit to blow out Texans," 12 Jan. 2020 In the women’s race, both U.S. racers cracked the top 15 — Sophie Caldwell placed fourth and Julia Kern was 15th. Anchorage Daily News, "Hanneman, Schoonmaker score World Cup points in Germany sprint race," 12 Jan. 2020 Meghan and Harry crack the top 10, but are further down the list. Washington Post, "Canada greets possible move of Harry and Meghan with a shrug," 12 Jan. 2020 The door cracked open and a woman, dressed in her Sunday best and tailed by a man of the same age, peered in. Derek M. Norman, New York Times, "Fried Fish. Rave Reviews. Then Someone Messed With the Gas Lines.," 8 Jan. 2020 Rashed didn’t crack the starting lineup for the opener against Oklahoma State. oregonlive, "Oregon State linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. motivated to make a senior-year statement: ‘I promised myself first round’," 8 Jan. 2020 Despite heading into the locker room with a 36-23 deficit, the Bears cracked the door open after shooting 1-for-12 to start the second half. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Three takeaways from Texas’ blowout loss to No. 6 Baylor," 4 Jan. 2020 Outside of Curry and Russell, no Warriors players cracked the top 10 at their respective positions. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ Stephen Curry is injured, but he’s still racking up All-Star votes," 2 Jan. 2020 Dry cracked skin on your hands, feet and lips are signs of the drying effect of low winter humidity. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "10 Survival Tips To Get You Through Winter," 30 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The polar night filled with the gunshot cracks of fracturing ice and the howls of 60-mph winds. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Voyagers to the ‘epicenter of global warming’ struggle with storms, polar bears and thin ice," 13 Jan. 2020 Reuters/Jorge Silva Thousands of runners will toe the start line at the crack of dawn this Sunday (Jan. 12) in Thailand’s capital for a six-kilometer race to demonstrate against the government. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Protesters in Bangkok are lacing up for a “Run Against Dictatorship”," 9 Jan. 2020 The crack of a gunshot scattered a group of women throwing stones at a surveillance camera watching over the camp where they have been held with their children since the fall of Islamic State’s would-be caliphate. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Almost 10,000 Children of Islamic State Live in Perilous Limbo in Syrian Camps," 31 Dec. 2019 But many have found ways to slip through the cracks of the system. BostonGlobe.com, "SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook plans to clamp down on attempts to use its services to interfere with the 2020 US census, including the posting of misleading information about when and how to participate, who can participate, and what happens when people do.," 20 Dec. 2019 But many have found ways to slip through the cracks of the system. Washington Post, "Facebook to tackle efforts to interfere with 2020 US census," 19 Dec. 2019 But many have found ways to slip through the cracks of the system. NBC News, "Facebook won't allow misleading census ads — even from politicians," 19 Dec. 2019 Black Friday brought out plenty of Louisville shoppers to malls before the crack of dawn, but stores and parking lots were not overflowing this year. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville shoppers rise early for Black Friday, but Thanksgiving steals some crowds," 29 Nov. 2019 Where there used to be lines around the corner waiting to get into stores at the crack of dawn, now there are a handful of shoppers when stores first open waiting to take advantage of deals. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Black Friday powered more by tradition than discounts for some Denver area shoppers," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Among the drugs detectives seized were crack cocaine, oxycodone, MDMA and cannabis. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Sweeps target gang activity; guns, drugs and cash confiscated," 20 Sep. 2019 Police recovered suspected crack cocaine, suspected marijuana, a short straw, a metal spoon and a knife. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Trespassing suspect found with 3 watches: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 10 Aug. 2019 Follow along with The Post's crack whip count on where Senate Republicans stand on the revised health-care plan. Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Trump administration tells moderates to trust it on health care," 14 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crack

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1793, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crack

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English crakken, from Old English cracian; akin to Old High German chrahhōn to resound

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Time Traveler for crack

Time Traveler

The first known use of crack was before the 12th century

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Statistics for crack

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crack.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crack. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for crack

crack

verb
How to pronounce crack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to break (something) so that there are lines in its surface but it is usually not separated into pieces
: to hit or press (something) so hard that it breaks apart or opens suddenly
: to hit (someone or something) hard and usually suddenly

crack

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

: a thin line in the surface of something that is broken but not separated into pieces
: a very narrow space or opening between two things or two parts of something
: a sudden loud, sharp sound

crack

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: very good : of excellent quality or ability

crack

verb
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \
cracked; cracking

Kids Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to break or cause to break with a sudden sharp sound crack an egg
2 : to break often without completely separating into parts The ice cracked in several places.
3 : to make or cause to make a sound as if breaking crack a whip
4 : to open a small amount crack a window
5 : to tell (a joke) especially in a clever way
6 : to lose self-control He cracked under the strain.
7 : to change in tone quality My voice cracked from emotion.
8 : to strike or receive a sharp blow … I bounced sideways and cracked my head on the half-open window …— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
9 : solve I cracked the code.
crack up
1 : to have a reputation as a result of praise The show wasn't as good as it was cracked up to be.
2 : to damage or destroy (a vehicle) by crashing
3 : to laugh or cause to laugh Her costume cracked me up.

crack

noun

Kids Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a narrow break or opening a crack in the glass
2 : a sudden sharp noise a crack of thunder
3 : a sharp clever remark
4 : a broken tone of the voice
5 : the beginning moment I awoke at the crack of dawn.
6 : a sharp blow
7 : attempt entry 2 It was my first crack at writing.

crack

adjective

Kids Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: of high quality or ability crack troops

crack

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \

Medical Definition of crack

: a potent form of cocaine that is obtained by treating the hydrochloride of cocaine with sodium bicarbonate to create small chips used illicitly usually for smoking

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More from Merriam-Webster on crack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crack

Spanish Central: Translation of crack

Nglish: Translation of crack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crack for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about crack

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