1 of 2


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

crack up

2 of 2


cracked up; cracking up; cracks up

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

Examples of crack-up in a Sentence

Noun a crack-up required him to take a year off from work two people were injured in a serious crack-up on the interstate 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
And all the better to make his crack-up that much more disorienting and unsettling. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 Oct. 2023 Despite their differences on policy, there is little reason to expect a crack-up between the Hungarian and American right in the near future. Emily Tamkin, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2023
Has the show’s success been everything it’s cracked up to be? Shane O’Neill, Washington Post, 6 July 2024 Awkwafina and John Cena find that winning the lottery is not all it’s cracked up to be in the trailer for the action-comedy movie Jackpot! Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for crack-up 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crack-up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1829, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crack-up was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near crack-up

Cite this Entry

“Crack-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun

crack up

2 of 2 verb
: praise sense 1, tout
it's not all it's cracked up to be
: to cause or have a crack-up
crack up a car

More from Merriam-Webster on crack-up

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