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

Looking around, guests will be in total awe of their surroundings; the breathtaking landscape is a result of a prehistoric lake drying up and leaving only the cracked white desert-like earth in its wake. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "The Kachi Lodge Stargazing Dome Offers a Next-Level Glamping Experience," 28 May 2019 Psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, can cause red, scaly patches that may itch, crack, and bleed. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "4 Tips for Putting on Makeup When You Have Psoriasis on Your Face," 24 May 2019 On a 2-1 count, hefty lefty Daniel Vogelbach cracked a running fastball over the wall in right-center for a homer of his own. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Back-to-back homers lift Mariners over streaking Twins in series finale," 19 May 2019 Toss with cucumbers to coat, then fold in mint and freshly cracked pepper. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Salmon with Creamy Feta Cucumbers," 29 Apr. 2019 The fans’ beers hiss and crack, greeting the morning with a too-early insistence, like a rooster with the rising sun. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "One Day at Daytona," 22 Mar. 2019 When actors and actresses were not separated by gender, only Maxwell cracked the top ten. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Complex networks study ranks the most influential films of all time," 3 Dec. 2018 The high priest of attacking soccer was in Burnley last weekend, clinging to a 1-0 lead, when his faith began to crack. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Stakes Remain High as the Premier League’s Most Chaotic Season Winds Down," 3 May 2019 But if Kulkarni has figured out how to crack the code in TX-22, that could be good for Democrats’ future electoral chances, especially in rapidly diversifying suburban districts. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "A Texas Democrat’s radical experiment in turning out Asian-American voters could become a model for the party," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Use a clear sealer to fill the seal the cracks in the ottoman. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Tire Upcycle Is...Actually Chic," 27 Mar. 2019 This can also happen due to a skin infection such as cellulitis, which occurs when bacteria (often Streptococcus or Staphylococcus) worm their way into your body through a crack in your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Questions That Will Help You Decode That Skin Rash," 22 Mar. 2019 For Democrats, the votes will show whether there are any cracks in the so-far unified rejection of Trump’s demand. Andrew Taylor, The Seattle Times, "Senate sets up showdown votes on shutdown plans," 22 Jan. 2019 Now there’s a second support beam with a crack in it. Fox News, "Second cracked beam found at $2B San Francisco's 'Grand Central'," 28 Sep. 2018 But the scientists hypothesize that seasonal temperature shifts cause methane buried under the planet's surface to seep into the atmosphere through cracks and fissures in the surface (see diagram below). David Freeman /, NBC News, "Mars rover Curiosity's new findings hailed as 'breakthroughs in astrobiology'," 7 June 2018 What the First Step Act does The bill will make retroactive the reforms enacted by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine sentences at the federal level. German Lopez, Vox, "The Senate just passed criminal justice reform," 19 Dec. 2018 Photo: Getty William Barr’s vision of law and order was forged at the height of the 1990s crack epidemic, when the consensus in Washington was that long mandatory prison sentences were the best way to fight crime. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Will William Barr Revive the 1990s Tough-on-Crime Approach?," 16 Jan. 2019 Regularly run a canister vacuum over the surface to remove dirt and debris from cracks and crevices. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Laminate Floors (Without Ruining Them)," 28 Mar. 2019

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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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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