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noun (1)

cra·​ter ˈkrā-tər How to pronounce crater (audio)
plural craters
: the bowl-shaped depression around the orifice of a volcano
: a depression formed by an impact (as of a meteorite)
: a hole in the ground made by the explosion of a bomb or shell
: an eroded lesion
: a dimple in a painted surface
Crater astronomy : a constellation that is visible between the constellations of Corvus and Hydra and that is represented by the figure of a cup
Both the cup and the snake are here in the sky. If you have dark enough skies, you can spot the faint stars of Crater the cup and Hydra the snake to the right of Corvus.Kevin D. Conod
craterlike adjective


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cratered; cratering; craters

intransitive verb

: to exhibit or form craters
: to fail or fall suddenly and dramatically : collapse, crash
the deal cratered
cratering stock prices

transitive verb

: to form craters in


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noun (2)


less common spelling of krater

: a jar or vase of classical antiquity having a large round body and a wide mouth and used for mixing wine and water

Examples of crater in a Sentence

Verb The deal cratered when neither party could agree on the final price. Stock prices cratered after the companies' merger.
Recent Examples on the Web
There, the never-setting Sun casts long shadows over nearby craters, hiding their floors from direct sunlight for the past 4 billion years, 90% of the age of the solar system. Martin Elvis, The Conversation, 30 May 2024 The crater is located on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland, where authorities evacuated the seaside town of Grindavík, including the country's biggest tourist attraction, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Leah Sarnoff, ABC News, 29 May 2024
Demand for their product didn’t crater as much as expected, in large part because existing homeowners didn’t want to sell and rid themselves of ultra-low mortgage rates. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Keep in mind that any large-scale sale of Trump’s shares would probably crater the stock price and take his unwary investors to the stock market woodshed. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for crater 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crater.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

borrowed from Latin crātēr, crātēra "mixing bowl, basin of a fountain, bowl-shaped depression around the mouth of a volcano," borrowed from Greek krātḗr "mixing bowl, bowl-shaped depression around the mouth of a volcano," from krā-, variant stem of keránnȳmi, kerannýnai "to mix, mingle (as wine with water)" (going back to Indo-European *ḱerh2-, *ḱr̥h2- "mix," whence also Sanskrit ā́-śīrta- "mixed," Avestan sārəṇtē "[they] meet, unite") + -tēr, instrumental suffix


derivative of crater entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1884, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crater was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near crater

Cite this Entry

“Crater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a hollow shaped like a bowl around the opening of a volcano
: a hole made by an impact (as of a meteorite) or by the explosion of a bomb or shell

Medical Definition


cra·​ter ˈkrāt-ər How to pronounce crater (audio)
: an eroded lesion of a wall or surface
ulcer craters

More from Merriam-Webster on crater

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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