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

Unfortunately, the Vaqueros failed to crack the top-five teams at the California Community College Athletic Assn. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Looking Back: Conference titles highlight 2018-2019 campaign for Glendale Community College," 9 Aug. 2019 Google is far from the only company hoping to crack gesture controls. Wired, "Google's New Gesture Controls Aren't Just for the Pixel," 30 July 2019 As solid as the debut of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was, the film probably won’t even crack the top 20 by the end of the year. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "Quentin Tarantino had a good weekend. Disney had a much better one," 29 July 2019 Yet as one problem is fixed another emerges: The lower control arms on the tire rods are cracked and need replacing. Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati.com, "4 addresses in 4 months: This is what poverty looks like for this Cincinnati family," 10 July 2019 That drink turned out to be my all-access pass to life, to belonging, to getting outside of my own head long enough to crack some jokes with fellow humans. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Traveling Sober Changed the Way I Saw the World," 10 July 2019 But now, thanks to a powerful global market, those doors are cracking open and studios are rolling out the red carpet. Weiko Lin, The Conversation, "A booming international movie market is transforming Hollywood," 9 July 2019 A decade later, not far from that Pittsburgh G20 Summit, US energy giant Shell is preparing to enter the ethane-cracking market. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Japan’s single-use plastic problem on display at the G20 Summit," 28 June 2019 He was consumed by a $200-a-day addiction to crack cocaine. Matthew Van Meter, The New Republic, "The Judge and the Three-Strikes Convict," 17 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Your teams that the country doesn’t care about kicking off at the crack of dawn won’t suddenly make people sit up and watch. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: Larry Scott should spare CU Buffs from Pac-12’s Breakfast Club," 27 July 2019 Despite the close collaboration between the Congress party and the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, as well as the bonds between the leaders of the two communities, the cracks of the Partition persisted. Salman Khurshid, Quartz India, "Rumours, suspicions, fears: What Indian Muslims have battled since Independence," 26 July 2019 How does waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in the mud for a couple of hours sound to you? Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Watch Wild Ponies Swim at Chincoteague in Annual Virginia Tradition," 26 July 2019 Some of the work for these improvements is done in-house through the Independence Service Department such as pothole repairs, strip-patching, crack and joint sealing, and sidewalk apron repairs or replacements. Laura Bednar, cleveland.com, "Summer construction continues on roadways in Independence," 19 July 2019 For a period, this particular area was filled with crack and drugs and unemployment. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "Amelia Court workforce housing complex opens at Creative Village. UCF and Valencia campus is next.," 12 July 2019 Scoring a ticket to Centre Court generally means turning up a day in advance; a ground ticket merely requires getting up at the crack of dawn. The Economist, "To get a ticket to Wimbledon you must be rich, patient or lucky," 11 July 2019 Ron Mikulaco, 51, and his nephew, 23-year-old Brad Fernandez, stood on 178 on Saturday looking at the cracks. John Antczak, Time, "California Governor: Earthquakes Are a 'Wake-Up Call'," 7 July 2019 What Hope Valley looked like at the crack of dawn today. Megan Stein, Country Living, "A 'When Calls the Heart' Star Says He's 'Totally in the Dark' About Show's Return," 7 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Police recovered suspected crack cocaine, suspected marijuana, a short straw, a metal spoon and a knife. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Trespassing suspect found with 3 watches: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 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, "The Health 202: Trump administration tells moderates to trust it on health care," 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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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on crack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crack

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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