crack·​er·​jack | \ ˈkra-kər-ˌjak How to pronounce crackerjack (audio) \
variants: or less commonly crackajack \ ˈkra-​kə-​ˌjak How to pronounce crackerjack (audio) \

Definition of crackerjack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or thing of marked excellence

Cracker Jack

Crack·​er Jack | \ ˈkra-kər-ˌjak How to pronounce Cracker Jack (audio) \

Definition of Cracker Jack (Entry 2 of 2)

used for a candied popcorn confection

Other Words from crackerjack


crackerjack adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for crackerjack

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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The late 19th-century pairing of crack and jack to form crackerjack topped off a long history for those words. Cracker is an elongation of crack, an adjective meaning "expert" or "superior" that dates from the 18th century. Prior to that, crack was a noun meaning "something superior" and a verb meaning "to boast." (The verb use evolved from the expression "to crack a boast," which came from the sense of crack meaning "to make a loud sharp sound.") Jack has been used for "man" since the mid-1500s, as in "jack-of-all-trades." Crackerjack entered English first as a noun referring to "a person or thing of marked excellence," then as an adjective. You may also know Cracker Jack as a snack of candied popcorn and peanuts. That trademarked name dates from the 1890s.

Examples of crackerjack in a Sentence

Noun a young prospect who's supposed to be a crackerjack on the baseball diamond the cheese maker's aged cheddar is a real crackerjack
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When sober, Sheean was a fearless crackerjack reporter. Edward Kosner, WSJ, 17 Mar. 2022 This crackerjack of a novel, published on 195 pages of poor-quality paper—in conformity with the pinched standards of postwar Britain—was an instant bestseller. Rachel Johnson, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Forbes put its crackerjack team of fictional wealth investigators to the task of calculating Logan Roy’s net worth, estimated at roughly $18 billion. Lisette Voytko, Forbes, 16 Oct. 2021 And a crackerjack team that mixes new and familiar faces. New York Times, 29 Sep. 2021 Criminals hijack a New York City subway train and hold its passengers for a million-dollar ransom in director Joseph Sargent’s crackerjack 1974 thriller starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Director Kari Ringer, who also musical directed, has assembled a crackerjack cast; not easy when her performers have to act, sing, proficiently play their instruments and essentially impersonate iconic figures — but not in a cheesy or ironic way. Matthew J. Palm,, 8 Mar. 2021 All of the four lead actors in King’s crackerjack ensemble get multiple chances to feast on such brilliant dialogue, and all of them make the most of it. Mike Scott,, 18 Jan. 2021 Teenage Bounty Hunters is also propelled by excellent comic performances by Phillips and Fellini, who don't look all that similar but do share a fizzy chemistry, especially in their crackerjack-timed quips and clairvoyant communications. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Aug. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of crackerjack


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crackerjack


probably alteration of crack entry 3 + jack (man)

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The first known use of crackerjack was in 1893

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Dictionary Entries Near crackerjack



Cracker Jack

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Cite this Entry

“Crackerjack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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