crack·​ing | \ ˈkra-kiŋ How to pronounce cracking (audio) \

Definition of cracking

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very impressive or effective : great



Definition of cracking (Entry 2 of 3)

: very, extremely a cracking good book



Definition of cracking (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a process in which relatively heavy hydrocarbons are broken up by heat into lighter products (such as gasoline)
2 US politics : a form of gerrymandering in which election districts are drawn in such a way that voters likely to support the opposing party are spread among multiple districts to dilute the power of their votes Using the classic gerrymandering technique, cracking, they divided Salt Lake City (a Democrat stronghold) among three districts to drown out its Democratic voters with neighboring heavily Republican turf.— Justin F. Thulin — compare packing sense 3

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cracking

Synonyms: Adjective

A-OK, A1, awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, blue-ribbon, boffo, bonny (also bonnie) [chiefly British], boss [slang], brag, brave, bully, bumper, capital, choice, classic, cool [slang], corking, crackerjack, dandy, divine, dope [slang], down [slang], dynamite, excellent, fab, fabulous, famous, fantabulous [slang], fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, four-star, frontline, gangbusters (also gangbuster), gilt-edged (or gilt-edge), gone [slang], grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-class, hot, hype [slang], immense, jim-dandy, keen, lovely, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, number one (also No. 1), numero uno, out-of-sight [slang], par excellence, peachy, peachy keen, phat [slang], prime, primo [slang], prize, prizewinning, quality, radical [slang], righteous [slang], sensational, slick, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, terrific, tip-top, top, top-notch, top-of-the-line, top-shelf, topflight, topping [chiefly British], unsurpassed, wizard [chiefly British], wonderful

Synonyms: Adverb

achingly, almighty, archly, awful, awfully, badly, beastly, blisteringly, bone, colossally, corking, damn, damned, dang, deadly, desperately, eminently, enormously, especially, ever, exceedingly (also exceeding), extra, extremely, fabulously, fantastically, far, fiercely, filthy, frightfully, full, greatly, heavily, highly, hugely, immensely, incredibly, intensely, jolly, majorly, mightily, mighty, monstrous [chiefly dialect], mortally, most, much, particularly, passing, rattling, real, really, right, roaring, roaringly, seriously, severely, so, sore, sorely, spanking, specially, stinking, such, super, supremely, surpassingly, terribly, that, thumping, too, unco, uncommonly, vastly, very, vitally, way, whacking, wicked, wildly

Antonyms: Adjective

atrocious, awful, execrable, lousy, pathetic, poor, rotten, terrible, vile, wretched

Antonyms: Adverb

little, negligibly, nominally, slightly, somewhat

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Examples of cracking in a Sentence


I think it's a cracking story. a writer renowned for her cracking tales of mystery and suspense


tells a cracking good tale of a search for a lost city
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The National Flood Insurance Program, a vital but cracking foundation for homeowners and businesses alike in south Louisiana, expires in one month. Drew Broach,, "On flood insurance, here's why John Kennedy thinks reform is languishing," 31 May 2018 His fortunes finally turned back Wednesday, when van Garderen laid down a cracking time trial at the Tour of California. sacbee, "'I’m no scrub': Why altitude doesn't worry Tejay van Garderen in Tour of California | The Sacramento Bee," 16 May 2018 Although the Premier League has the race for Champions League qualification to keep all of the top teams interested, some feel that the introduction of a play-off system is a prospect that would cause some cracking end of season drama., "Why the Premier League Would Benefit From the Introduction of an End of Season Play Off," 13 Apr. 2018 Victory is so much sweeter with a cracking name to go along with it., "FanVoice: 90min Readers Vote on the Season's Best Premier League Fantasy Football Team Name," 16 Feb. 2018 GLYN KIRK/GettyImages Defenders Who's Hot Antonio Valencia - The Manchester United right-back scored a cracking goal against Everton last time out and could easily secure another clean sheet against Southampton., "Premier League Fantasy Football: Who's Hot and Who's Not in Gameweek 6," 22 Sep. 2017 A Giants bullpen that blew a franchise-record 32 save opportunities last year got off to a cracking start, blowing not one but two save chances in a stunning, season-opening 6-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Andrew Baggarly, The Mercury News, "Giants bullpen blows two saves, ruins Bumgarner’s historic power show in opening day loss," 2 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For decades, the cathedral showed many signs of aging through cracking, and the fire yesterday likely started because of a $6.8 million restoration project. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Rebuilding History: How 21st-Century Tech Can Save Medieval Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 Original tile gets replaced due to cracking, counters get a face lift, cabinets get swapped, and the list goes on. Eric Whitmer, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Buying A Mid-Century Modern Home," 5 Apr. 2019 The blunder had Blake Shelton covering his face, Kelly Clarkson slapping her chair, and just about everyone in the audience and at home cracking up. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "A 'Voice' Contestant Proposed to His Girlfriend on Air and It Got Hilariously Awkward," 12 Mar. 2019 The quick cracking of Hitman 2 comes shortly after the Denuvo protection for both Soul Calibur 6 and Football Manager 2019 were publicly cracked four days after their respective releases. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hitman 2’s Denuvo DRM cracked days before the game’s release," 12 Nov. 2018 In recent weeks, the World Record Egg’s official account has been posting sequential images of the egg cracking, appearing to tease a big reveal of something inside. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "What Jerry Media, of Fyre Festival Fame, Had Planned for Instagram’s Most Famous Egg," 31 Jan. 2019 And this year, a new study presented evidence that dispels the notion that Neanderthals were big into skull cracking. Julia Belluz, Vox, "7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 The idea behind the long-running joke is that Reynolds' character, the snarky, wise-cracking, only-kind-of-sort-of-a-hero and, most importantly, fourth wall breaking Deadpool delights in mocking the face of the X-Men franchise, Jackman. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Ryan Reynolds Falls for a Prank Pulled by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal," 22 Dec. 2018 Carefully unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel (there may be some cracking). Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pumpkin Roll," 22 Oct. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cracking.' 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 cracking


1830, in the meaning defined above


1903, in the meaning defined above


1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near cracking

crack house




crack into



Statistics for cracking

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Time Traveler for cracking

The first known use of cracking was in 1830

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More Definitions for cracking



English Language Learners Definition of cracking

British, informal : very good or impressive

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Comments on cracking

What made you want to look up cracking? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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