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

Example Sentences

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
The movie tracks Carl’s descent, his crack-up, and his slow waking up to reality. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 4 Apr. 2023 This season’s minor time jump is a shrewd choice all the same, giving the characters a bit of time to process the Roy family’s biggest crack-up yet. Joshua Alston, Variety, 22 Mar. 2023 Johnson’s crack-up inserts a nagging question mark into the very idea of mammoth land-art projects. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2023
These are all the new emojis available on your iPhone. Watch as 'Wheel of Fortune' contestant makes Pat Sajak crack up with raunchy wrong guess. Julius Lasin, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2023 The three cannot help but crack up and poke fun. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 17 Mar. 2022 Both of them crack up. Maya Phillips, New York Times, 23 Feb. 2023 Bowen Yang and Pascal crack up a lot. Andy Hoglund,, 5 Feb. 2023 What seems clear is that progressives have yet to figure out – especially in high-turnout contests – how to crack up the Biden coalition of working-class voters, Black voters and suburban moderates who are playing an increasingly large role in Democratic primaries. Paul Sracic, CNN, 4 Aug. 2021 One of them begins to crack up. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 Brian’s response is to crack up laughing. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 3 June 2021 But The Voice fans couldn't help but crack up at Blake and Kelly's interaction when a clip from the night was uploaded to YouTube. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

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 6 Jun. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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