\ ˈkrak-ˌəp How to pronounce crack-up (audio) \

Definition of crack-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : crash, wreck an automobile crack-up
2a : a mental collapse : nervous breakdown his wife's death brought on his crack-up

crack up

cracked up; cracking up; cracks up

Definition of crack up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : praise, tout sense 1 wasn't all that it was cracked up to be
2 : to damage or destroy (a vehicle) by crashing crack up a car
3 : to cause to laugh out loud that joke really cracks him up

intransitive verb

1 : to damage or destroy a vehicle (as by losing control) cracked up on a curve
2 : to laugh out loud

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for crack-up

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of crack-up in a Sentence

Verb that sports car isn't all it's cracked up to be the movie is being cracked up as the blockbuster of the summer
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Remembering the moment when one of the world’s best basketball players wanted to chat about his wine amid the heat of battle still makes McCollum crack up. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 24 Apr. 2021 As Kate McKinnon’s hammy psychic looked Adele’s character in the eye and spoke of a future inexplicably filled with adult coloring books, Adele appeared to be biting her tongue so as to not crack up. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 25 Oct. 2020 An extra hour of sunlight isn't all it's cracked up to be. Channing King, Indianapolis Star, 5 Mar. 2020 Jimmy Kimmel’s hosting antics The comedian was his charming and hilarious self while hosting in 2016, cracking up the crowd with his jokes and also bringing some of his own stunts to the stage. Diana Pearl,, 16 Sep. 2019 During downtime, Daisy May cracked up the crew with a hypochondriacal riff about an unprintable physical sensation in her bowels. David Segal, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2020 SureID replaced Larson as CEO in May 2017, as the business was cracking up. oregonlive, 14 Jan. 2020 Ever since England and Wales voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, while Scotland and Northern Ireland did the exact opposite, the sides have worried or wondered when the union might crack up over Brexit. Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2019 To crack up the emotions up just a notch weaved in between concert footage, BTS incorporates a scenic story in traditional animation that draws on the original song’s message. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, 18 Oct. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of crack-up


circa 1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1829, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About crack-up

Time Traveler for crack-up

Time Traveler

The first known use of crack-up was in 1829

See more words from the same year

Statistics for crack-up

Cite this Entry

“Crack-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crack-up



English Language Learners Definition of crack-up

US, informal
: an accident in which a vehicle is badly damaged


\ ˈkrak-ˌəp \

Kids Definition of crack-up

2 : crash entry 2 sense 3, wreck My car received minor damage in the crack-up.

More from Merriam-Webster on crack-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crack-up

Nglish: Translation of crack-up for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!