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

The shock threw him to the pavement and cracked his helmet. William Langhorne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Milwaukee Slide: this dangerous maneuver came up again and again in your bad driving complaints," 12 July 2019 And while this wouldn’t be wrong, making one takes about as much effort as cracking open a beer. Alison Roman, Bon Appétit, "If You Can Open a Cheap Beer, You Can Make This Cocktail," 12 July 2019 On the day his son was born in May 2014, Joseph Caruso used heroin and crack cocaine. oregonlive.com, "One family lost son to drugs. Another family’s son caused the death. Both left heartbroken.," 11 July 2019 Roughly 26 square miles in size, the park is situated in the Great Rift Valley, a jagged tectonic tear that stretches from Lebanon to Mozambique and cracks the continent in two by a few millimeters every year. National Geographic, "Visit the African park that inspired “The Lion King”," 11 July 2019 And Grandpa Eddie was a pro baseball player, never quite cracking the majors but good enough to room with baseball great Dusty Baker in the minors. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Coco Gauff’s magic carpet ride at Wimbledon brings her Delray family along | Commentary," 6 July 2019 As expected, fans are going wild on Twitter, even cracking a few good-natured jokes along the way. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Billie Eilish Dyed Her Roots Neon Green," 6 July 2019 The amphitheater stayed mercifully cool as temperatures in Paris cracked 32°C (90°F). Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Paris is pitching itself as the next-best thing for tech startups," 3 July 2019 Let cool, then pulse in spice grinder (or crush with side of heavy skillet) until mostly cracked. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Grilled Green Beans, Fennel, and Farro," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

India, a team full of world superstars and one of the most vaunted batting line-ups in the game, was blown away by a New Zealand side desperate for redemption and another crack at glory after losing out in the 2015 final. James Masters, CNN, "India crashes out to New Zealand in Cricket World Cup semifinal," 10 July 2019 The hearing will give House lawmakers their first crack at grilling Big Tech companies directly about bipartisan concerns over potential antitrust violations. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces legal challenges from critics she blocked on Twitter," 10 July 2019 Liam Hendriks, who will get a crack at closing in Treinen’s absence, turned in a whale of a first outing with a 1-2-3 ninth that included two strikeouts in Oakland’s 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "A’s beat Rays, Hendriks gets save with Treinen heading to IL," 22 June 2019 Thursday’s draft was Cleveland’s first crack at addressing that problem. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers address pressing need for more shooting with Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. -- Chris Fedor," 21 June 2019 Visitors who take advantage of the ‘Extra, Extra Magic Hours’ will have first crack at the 14-acre land from 6AM to 9AM from September 1 to November 2. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Disney World Will Open to Resort Guests at 6AM this Fall for Debut of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," 20 June 2019 Each hitter got a crack at Keuchel in the first inning. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Alex Bregman delivers another walkoff win for Astros," 27 June 2018 Ausmus could give no thought to allowing Skaggs a third crack at Oakland’s order. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Tyler Skaggs labors as Angels are shut out by Athletics," 29 June 2019 The chaotic administration of Mr Ford, the brother of Toronto’s late crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, may be Mr Trudeau’s best hope of winning. The Economist, "Justin Trudeau starts Canada’s election campaign as the underdog," 28 June 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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