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 up The 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 on The 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 out a 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
c : crackpot
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

Gently tap one side of each hard-cooked egg on cutting board to crack slightly; transfer to wreath centers and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Erin Phraner, Good Housekeeping, "Give This Traditional Easter Bread a Sweet and Colorful Update," 28 Feb. 2019 At one point, Charlotte mentions that her campaign workers almost seem to take pride their absolute lack of self care—which cracked me up because its true! Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews 'Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win'," 1 Oct. 2018 In Formula 1, Colin Chapman's Lotus team was the first to really crack it, and the 1977 Lotus 78 generated about 40 percent more downforce than any other car on the grid. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught me I’m OK being slow," 11 Sep. 2018 Their motivation came from finding inventive ways to crack them. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Leader of the Future: Why Sergio Marchionne Fit the Profile," 11 Aug. 2018 Tracy Kivell, a biological anthropology professor at Kent, said the team’s findings could explain why other primates are able to crack nuts without the benefit of a human-like hand. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Did the Human Hand Evolve as a Lean Mean Bone-Smashing Machine?," 13 July 2018 After two years of trying to crack the major-league roster, Kemp has affixed himself to since being was recalled from class AAA Fresno on May 16. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Tony Kemp embracing new role," 9 July 2018 To crack the lineup, Robertson will have to make an impact, primarily with his bat. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Dandy Dylan: Dylan Robertson's three-run double ignites Brother Rice to summer regional win over Marian Catholic," 9 July 2018 To crack it all, Ferguson and Jiajun have been hiring folks to fill out the business and logistics side of Nuro, which now has more than 100 employees. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Get Yer Bread and Milk From Kroger's Cute New Delivery Robot," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Caves in that area of South Africa form as water percolates through the cracks and fissures of the region’s dolomite rock and slowly erodes the rock away, forming underground caverns of all shapes and sizes. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Take into consideration its blemishes, including scratches, dents, cracks, and any other quirks that the next owner should know about. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How to trade in your old Pixel phone," 8 Oct. 2018 This prevents fluke findings from slipping through the cracks and any one study receiving undue weight. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Meditation Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Health," 11 Sep. 2018 Trump's disrespectful cracks and hostility against women may be nothing new, but many critics quickly pointed out that calling Newman a dog could also read as racially charged. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Donald Trump's History of Calling Women 'Dogs' Just Got Longer With New Omarosa Tweet," 14 Aug. 2018 Officials are worried about cracks and holes in Highway 11, a 45-minute lifeline connecting a rural district with Hilo, the island's biggest city. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Fox News, "Road damage from earthquakes is latest Hawaii volcano peril," 3 Aug. 2018 Grab your compressed air, give it a quick burst away from the laptop to get rid of any condensation, then start blowing air into any cracks and crevices: the keyboard, the vents and even the USB ports. Whitson Gordon, New York Times, "How to Clean Your Filthy, Disgusting Laptop," 26 June 2018 Sea water seeps down into the cracks and fissures created where the continental plates interact. National Geographic, "Smoking Ocean Vents Found in Surprisingly Shallow Water," 21 June 2018 Workers also will provide pavement striping and new buttons, repair cracks and repaint doors. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Repair closures planned for Washburn Tunnel," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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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Statistics for crack

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crack

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

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More Definitions for crack

crack

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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