crack·​ing | \ˈkra-kiŋ \

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)

: a process in which relatively heavy hydrocarbons are broken up by heat into lighter products (such as gasoline)

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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

But there’s a new paper out in Nature from researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany containing evidence that dispels the notion that Neanderthals were big into skull cracking. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A new study further undermines the myth of the “savage” Neanderthal," 15 Nov. 2018 Prior to those games, recent versions of Denuvo had generally provided a longer window between release and cracking. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hitman 2’s Denuvo DRM cracked days before the game’s release," 12 Nov. 2018 Whiplash is a neck injury that’s due to a forceful, fast, back-and-forth movement of your neck (like a cracking of a whip). Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Possible Causes Behind That Annoying Neck Pain," 18 Sep. 2018 Both Kurz and Salvini have elicited parallels to President Trump, who has cheered the cracking of Europe's liberal consensus. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Does the West actually face a migration crisis?," 28 June 2018 The existing pipe is corroding and cracking, and has led to a decrease in the amount of crude oil that can be transported from Alberta, Canada, the company said. Fox News, "Religious leaders oppose proposed Minnesota oil pipeline," 1 June 2018 The idea that a bubble collapse causes the cracking sound was first introduced in 1971, according to the BBC. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Why do knuckles crack? The answer might be in a mathematical equation," 30 Mar. 2018 University officials, however, said Saturday that Department of Transportation officials had been aware of the cracking before the collapse. Jennifer Kay,, "Anguish, anger amid the rubble," 18 Mar. 2018 University officials, however, said Saturday that DOT officials had been aware of the cracking before the collapse. Washington Post, "Bridge victim’s grieving uncle lashes out at ‘incompetence’," 18 Mar. 2018

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 above

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Learn More about cracking

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

: very good or impressive

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Comments on cracking

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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