crack

verb
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \
cracked; cracking; cracks

Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a very sharp explosive sound The whip cracks through the air.
2 : to break, split, or snap apart The statue cracked when she dropped it.
3 : fail: such as
a : to lose control or effectiveness under pressure often used with up The stress was so great that she started to crack up.
b : to fail in tone His voice cracked.
4 : to go or travel at good speed usually used with on The steamboat cracked on.

transitive verb

1a : to break so that fissures appear on the surface crack a mirror
b : to break with a sudden sharp sound crack nuts
2 : to tell especially suddenly or strikingly crack a joke
3 : to strike with a sharp noise : rap then cracks him over the head cracked a two-run homer in the eighth
4a(1) : to open (something, such as a bottle) for drinking
(2) : to open (a book) for studying
b : to puzzle out and expose, solve, or reveal the mystery of crack a code
c : to break into crack a safe
d : to open slightly crack the throttle
e : to break through (something, such as a barrier) so as to gain acceptance or recognition … on track to crack Hollywood after landing a big screen role.— Ed Gleave and Peter Dyke
f : to show or begin showing (a smile) especially reluctantly or uncharacteristically
5a : to impair seriously or irreparably : wreck crack an opponent's courage
b : to destroy the tone of (a voice)
c : disorder, craze Worry had cracked his otherwise cheerful disposition.
d : to interrupt sharply or abruptly The criticism cracked our complacency.
6 : to cause to make a sharp noise cracks his knuckles
7a(1) : to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking
(2) : to produce by cracking cracked gasoline
b : to break up (chemical compounds) into simpler compounds by means of heat
crack the whip
: to adopt or apply an authoritative, tyrannical, or threatening approach or policy (as in demanding harder work from employees) The team needs a coach who isn't afraid to crack the whip.
crack wise
: to make a wisecrack The comedian often cracked wise about prominent politicians.

crack

noun

Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a loud roll or peal a crack of thunder
b : a sudden sharp noise the crack of rifle fire
2 : a sharp witty remark : quip
3a : a narrow break : fissure a crack in the ice
b : a narrow opening Leave the door open a crack. cracks between floorboards used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out a player who fell through the cracks in the college draftChildren slipping through the cracks of available youth services.
4a : a weakness or flaw caused by decay, age, or deficiency : unsoundness
b : a broken tone of the voice
c : crackpot
5 : moment, instant the crack of dawn
7 : a sharp resounding blow gave him a crack on the head
8 : an attempt or opportunity to do something her first crack at writing a novel got first crack at the job opening
9 or crack cocaine : a potent form of cocaine that is obtained by treating the hydrochloride of cocaine with sodium bicarbonate to create small chips used illicitly for smoking

crack

adjective

Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: of superior excellence or ability a crack marksman

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Examples of crack in a Sentence

Verb The hailstones were big enough to crack some windows. He cracked his collarbone in a skiing accident. The mirror cracked when she dropped it. Workers cracked the large rock into three pieces so it could be moved. The bird cracked the seed on a tree branch. a tool used for cracking nuts He cracked open the eggs. Someone cracked him over the head with a beer bottle. The baby cracked her chin pretty hard when she fell. He fell and cracked his elbow on the ice. Noun The crack runs all the way from the top of the wall to the bottom. an old patio with grass growing up through the cracks The vase has a few fine cracks, but it is still usable. I could see them through the crack in the doorway. Light came through the cracks in the walls of the barn. Adjective The company has a crack sales force. known as one of the college's crack tennis players
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a string of close losses, Florida State found a way to push past some late mistakes and crack the win column, relying on a last-second field goal. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, 3 Oct. 2021 Brady could crack 6,000 passing yards and the Bucs could get four 1,000-yard receivers thanks to the NFL expanding the regular season to 17 games. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2021 So in 2019, detectives enlisted the help of Barbara Rae-Venter, the genealogist who helped crack the case of the Golden State Killer. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2021 Oregon has a lot more speed than Stanford and will crack a couple of big plays to stay unbeaten. Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Heading into the season, there was more confidence than ever that a Group of Five team could crack the playoff field. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Local businesses and anonymous donors are offering a $20,000 reward for information that could crack the case, the sheriff's office said. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 28 Sep. 2021 At age 8, Chanel found her mother’s crack pipe in a jewelry box. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 Though the object did not crack upon hitting Macron’s head, photographs from the scene show a broken egg on the floor afterward. Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the crack epidemic surged, her mother became addicted and sent Chanel, as a baby, to live with her father and his common-law wife, Sherry. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 In 1988, amid the crack epidemic and a nationwide surge in crime, Albany was dubbed the murder capital of America, with its 27 homicides giving the city the nation’s highest per-capita murder rate. Jennifer Peebles, ajc, 22 Sep. 2021 But the girls’ lives took drastically different turns: the author became a writer; her sister died of alcoholism; the friend fell victim to the crack epidemic and was imprisoned for murder. The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 But as Michaels learned over the next quarter-century, while the country dealt with everything from the Iran Hostage Crisis to the crack epidemic and trickle down economics, Saturday Night Live was often at its best when things were at their worst. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2021 There were about 9,000 in 1988, around the height of the crack epidemic. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2021 Criminologists offered up a string of possible explanations, among them the passing of the crack epidemic, the expansion of police forces in the 1990s, and the reduction of childhood lead exposure in house paint and gasoline. ProPublica, 30 July 2021 In the late 1980s, the crack epidemic hit the neighborhood hard. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 There were about 9,000 in 1988, around the height of the crack epidemic. BostonGlobe.com, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In 1986, Biden wrote a strict federal anti-crack bill, and sold it by complaining that President Reagan was weak and had surrendered in the War on Drugs. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 23 June 2021 Among the drugs detectives seized were crack cocaine, oxycodone, MDMA and cannabis. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, 20 Sep. 2019 Police recovered suspected crack cocaine, suspected marijuana, a short straw, a metal spoon and a knife. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, 10 Aug. 2019 Follow along with The Post's crack whip count on where Senate Republicans stand on the revised health-care plan. Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, 14 July 2017

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1793, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crack

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English crakken, from Old English cracian; akin to Old High German chrahhōn to resound

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Time Traveler for crack

Time Traveler

The first known use of crack was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near crack

-cracies

crack

crackaloo

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Statistics for crack

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crack. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for crack

crack

verb

English Language Learners Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to break (something) so that there are lines in its surface but it is usually not separated into pieces
: to hit or press (something) so hard that it breaks apart or opens suddenly
: to hit (someone or something) hard and usually suddenly

crack

noun

English Language Learners Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

: a thin line in the surface of something that is broken but not separated into pieces
: a very narrow space or opening between two things or two parts of something
: a sudden loud, sharp sound

crack

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: very good : of excellent quality or ability

crack

verb
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \
cracked; cracking

Kids Definition of crack

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to break or cause to break with a sudden sharp sound crack an egg
2 : to break often without completely separating into parts The ice cracked in several places.
3 : to make or cause to make a sound as if breaking crack a whip
4 : to open a small amount crack a window
5 : to tell (a joke) especially in a clever way
6 : to lose self-control He cracked under the strain.
7 : to change in tone quality My voice cracked from emotion.
8 : to strike or receive a sharp blow … I bounced sideways and cracked my head on the half-open window …— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
9 : solve I cracked the code.
crack up
1 : to have a reputation as a result of praise The show wasn't as good as it was cracked up to be.
2 : to damage or destroy (a vehicle) by crashing
3 : to laugh or cause to laugh Her costume cracked me up.

crack

noun

Kids Definition of crack (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a narrow break or opening a crack in the glass
2 : a sudden sharp noise a crack of thunder
3 : a sharp clever remark
4 : a broken tone of the voice
5 : the beginning moment I awoke at the crack of dawn.
6 : a sharp blow
7 : attempt entry 2 It was my first crack at writing.

crack

adjective

Kids Definition of crack (Entry 3 of 3)

: of high quality or ability crack troops

crack

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkrak How to pronounce crack (audio) \

Medical Definition of crack

: a potent form of cocaine that is obtained by treating the hydrochloride of cocaine with sodium bicarbonate to create small chips used illicitly usually for smoking

More from Merriam-Webster on crack

Nglish: Translation of crack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crack for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about crack

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