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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Korean automaker says in documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators that a low pressure fuel hose can crack over time due to heat from the engine. CBS News, 11 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? Animals, 10 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? Environment, 10 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? History, 10 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? Travel, 10 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? Magazine, 10 May 2022 What’s ‘crack seed,’ one of Hawai‘i’s favorite snacks? Science, 10 May 2022 By the 1980s, though, poverty, crack cocaine, and crime had taken a harsh toll on Roxbury. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the crack negotiator cared too much and the case went to trial. Edward Kosner, WSJ, 5 May 2022 Monáe opened up about her struggles with feeling abandoned and rejected, which stemmed from her father’s crack addiction and absence from her life. Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Bill Pagel takes a small vase off the mantel and shows me the crack across the bottom and how it’s been glued back together. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 Japan also lost 3,500 sailors and airmen, including many crack pilots. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 Los Angeles during the cocaine epidemic, Snowfall is quite literally a coming of age story on crack. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 8 Apr. 2022 As part of the single-vote-multiple-items consent agenda, trustees also approved spending up to $27,000 on road materials for Peter Baker and up to $50,000 for a crack sealing program. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, 4 Apr. 2022 The 3-2-1 crack spread, a measure of the profit for refining crude into products like gasoline and diesel, jumped 2% Tuesday to above $32 a barrel. Barbara J Powell, Bloomberg.com, 30 Mar. 2022 Council approved this resolution, as well as resolutions for the crack sealing program and to fix road markings in the city. Alyssa Alfano, cleveland, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In 1986, Biden wrote a strict federal anti-crack bill, and sold it by complaining that President Reagan was weak and had surrendered in the War on Drugs. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 23 June 2021 Among the drugs detectives seized were crack cocaine, oxycodone, MDMA and cannabis. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, 20 Sep. 2019 Police recovered suspected crack cocaine, suspected marijuana, a short straw, a metal spoon and a knife. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, 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, 14 July 2017 See More

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.

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

Learn More About crack

Time Traveler for crack

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near crack

-cracies

crack

crackaloo

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for crack

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crack. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for crack

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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